(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State improved to 3-4 on the season, winning its second consecutive game on Saturday, defeating the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen 7-1.
It was the team’s first NCAA homestand, one that could not have come at a better time after dropping all three games last weekend in Connecticut.
The Devils sat at 1-4 in NCAA play and were desperate to get back in the win column before going back on the road for their next six games. This weekend would be the first and last time the team would be in Tempe until Dec. 4.
Coming into the game, it was a matter of who was next. On a team that includes 15 freshmen, there were plenty of first career goals to go around.
Last night, it was Nicholas Gushue’s turn; the freshman scored his first two career goals and added an assist, getting the proverbial monkey that is a first goal off of his back.
Tonight, freshman Cody Gylling skated onto the ice in the first period with no score and ASU on a power play. Freshman Jordan Masters would start an ASU drive which would result in Gylling netting the first goal of the game, putting it past Penmen goalie Ryan Slatky.
The goal would be Gylling’s first of his career.
“I guess it’s good to get it off our back,” Gylling said.
The power play has been a crucial part of the team’s success this weekend, as the team netted five total goals in the two-game home stand.
“It’s good, you know I can’t argue,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “We were 100 percent on the penalty kill and what, five power play goals? I can’t complain.”
Freshman defenseman Joey Raats also remained involved on the offensive side, netting his first career goal and adding three assists. Raats’ season point total sits at nine through seven games.
“Joey’s been good, he’s been really good,” Powers said. “We knew he was going to be good coming in and he’s lived up to it. He’s made some defensive freshman mistakes early but he’s really corrected those.
“He’s a skilled defenseman with a high upside.”
On a larger scale, freshmen have been the story for this team. While veterans like Liam Norris and Ryan Belonger have made impacts, the rookies have been able to hold their own in the NCAA ranks.
Jordan Masters finished with a goal and two assists, bringing his season point total to six.
Arizona State will not play on its home ice again until the team faces off against the University of Alberta on Dec. 4.
“Hopefully after this weekend guys got some confidence back offensively and we can just go in there and keep it up,” Powers said.
- Connor Schmidt remained suspended through the series for a violation of team rules. Look for Schmidt to return against Wisconsin.
- Ryland Pashovitz earned another nod at goalie, giving up just one goal. Robert Levin remains sidelined with what’s being called an ankle injury by Powers.
- Brock Krygier, a transfer student from Michigan State, scored his first collegiate goal tonight.
- Michael Cummings was ejected in the third period after not dressing for last night’s contest.