(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Senior night couldn’t have been much more physical at Oceanside Ice Arena on Saturday, as Arizona State downed Simon Fraser for the second straight night by a score of 4-1 to capture an exhibition series sweep.
In all, there were 15 penalties called between the two teams.
“We knew they’d probably be pretty chippy,” head coach Greg Powers said. “I think they had to be to be competitive and it’s just again, like last night, it’s just the game.”
Still, Arizona State dominated the offensive chances, outshooting the SFU 42- 9. The eight chances didn’t amount to much, as senior goaltender Robert Levin was solid in net for the second consecutive night.
He finished with two goals allowed and seven saves. In his senior season, Levin has posted a 3-4-2 record in 10 starts, to go with a .887 save percentage and an average of 3.47 goals per game allowed, both team bests.
For Levin and fellow senior Drew Newmeyer, the game was their last that they would play at Oceanside. The two won an ACHA national championship as freshmen three years ago and are the only two remaining players still on the roster from that era.
“He’s everything to our program,” Powers said. “Him and Drew (Newmeyer), they’re pioneers, you know, they won a national championship, that put us on the map, that raised awareness, that did everything that put us to where we are now. Rob was the MVP of that tournament and he’s going to leave, like I said, I really kind of unique footprint on the program.”
Now, as NCAA players, the journey was all they could’ve asked for.
“It’s been crazy,” Newmeyer said. “Couldn’t ask for anything more, I think when we got here, you know, we didn’t expect any of this to happen and just the way everything worked out it was just kind of, you couldn’t make it up. I know for me, I’m just extremely lucky to be a part of this still.”
Newmeyer didn’t score in his final game, however, he was ejected for misconducted in the third period after a fight broke out between the two teams.
“I just couldn’t score, so I thought I’d try something else,” Newmeyer said.
In senior Robbie Baillargeon’s case, he transferred to Arizona State after graduating from Boston University and only played one season with the Sun Devils.
Still, he wouldn’t have wanted to finish his career anywhere else.
“It went by quick, I would say too quick,” Baillargeon said. “I remember it was like yesterday that we were in here for our first game for the half and half team scrimmage and it flew by, but if I had to pick one place to finish off my senior year, it would be here. I don’t regret this decision at all to come here, it was probably one of the best years of my life playing hockey with this group of guys.”
The Sun Devils will wrap up their first NCAA season in two weeks against the United States Under-18 team in Plymouth, Mich.