(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
On what is being dubbed “Senior Weekend” for Arizona State, it was essentially everyone else whom ironically took center stage on Friday night.
The Sun Devils cruised to an easy 8-1 victory against Simon Fraser, a team outside of the NCAA based in British Columbia.
“It doesn’t matter who you play,” head coach Greg Powers said. “You still have to show up and play the same way. All week we talked about finding our identity and I think we found it. It doesn’t matter who you play.”
Seniors Drew Newmeyer, Robert Levin, Robbie Baillargeon and Ryan Belonger are all being honored over the weekend in their final games at Oceanside Ice Arena.
Right from the get-go, ASU was heavily favored in the matchup, but it played down to its competition in the first period, settling for only one goal.
Yet from then on, they stepped hard on the gas pedal, and never looked back.
The highlight of the night was a five goal second period, which buried SFU for good.
Six different Sun Devils scored goals during the night, including freshmen Brinson Pasichnuk, his brother Steenn Pasichnuk, Tyler Busch, and Brett Gruber.
Brinson had a hat trick on the night, all of which came on slap shots near the blue line. He finished with five total points.
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“That’s why he is our best player,” Powers said about Pasichnuk. “He’s had a great year and he is finishing strong. He’s going to be a good one for us moving forward.”
Additionally, two of his goals came on the power play. The Sun Devils finished two-for-four on the night with the man advantage.
Even though the game did not count in the standings or for personal statistics, the Sun Devils pulled out all the punches, bombarding SFU goalie Lyndon Stanwood with 42 shots while staying mostly out of the penalty box.
Levin, on the other hand, did not face much pressure but held steady in the chances he did receive. He finished with 19 saves on 20 total shots, which was a light night for him considering the competition he has faced over the course of the season.
Five different ASU players had multiple points in what is its finale weekend at Oceanside, at least for the near future.
The Division I slate has reached its conclusion, but the Sun Devils still have three games left on their schedule. They will play tomorrow on the official “Senior Night” against SFU and then will take the week off before heading to Plymouth, Michigan to face the U.S. U-18 team to close out the season.
For the players, they are just soaking in the time they have left before shifting their focus on to next season.
“Even though they are not counting towards stats and stuff, we are still going to come out as hard as we can every game,” Brinson said. “It’s our seniors last few games of their college career, possibly their whole career, so we owe it to them to bring our best out there.”