(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Although it wasn’t as one-sided of an affair as Friday’s contest, the Arizona State Sun Devils completed the team’s first home sweep of the Southern New Hampshire Penmen with a 4-1 win on Saturday night.
Although the stats didn’t show it, the Penmen entered Saturday far more prepared for the Sun Devils’ offensive attack and did all they could to do keep shots on goal from becoming points. ASU put 48 shots on net and only had four goals to show for it.
ASU head coach Greg Powers attributed SNHU’s defensive prowess to the team’s static goalie strategy. All three of the team’s goalies logged at least 15 minutes and snagged a combined 46 saves.
“They had an interesting strategy that I’ve never seen, but it kept their guys fresh in net,” Powers said. “They played really well, kept their team in it and they played hard. That team worked tonight.”
Robert Levin earned the nod in net for a second consecutive night and yielded just one goal. In both games, he totaled 26 saves.
“Rob was steady and did what he had to do, that’s what he does for us,” Powers said. “He’s that calm presence, a couple breakdowns and he didn’t falter and that’s what a senior should do. He’s playing well.”
The Sun Devils were also boosted by the return of defenseman Nicholas Gushue after he missed the team’s last seven games due to injury. Gushue added a goal in the first period.
“He was a little bit rusty, but that was to be expected,” Powers said. “It’s good to have him back, obviously, he gives us depth and made a great play on our first goal, getting a shot through.”
Still, even with the different narrative in Saturday’s game, forward Jack Rowe admitted that the team was ready for a more competitive match-up.
“We figured it would be [more competitive],” Rowe said. “You can never come into a building and expect to beat somebody by 11 goals, so we knew they were going to come hard and they did.”
With two wins at home, the team now heads back out on the road to face off against No. 17 Quinnipiac and Western Michigan over the course of the next two weekends.
“Anytime you can come home and get a sweep, we have a big weekend coming up, it’s good,” Rowe said. “Get the momentum, we can take that out east with us next week.”