(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Before Arizona State embarks on yet another long road trip, it hosts Colgate with a chance to build on its most successful stretch thus far.
Although two wins in six games isn’t necessarily strong on paper, the Sun Devils have yet to play this well so far in 2016. Mixed in with the two wins is a pair of losses that were tight games throughout, including one against No. 3 Boston College.
The team has been boosted by the return of sophomore forward Jordan Masters from suspension. Last season’s leading scorer has two goals and an assist in six games this season.
ASU head coach Greg Powers enters this weekend with a whole new outlook on his goalie situation after he got strong performances from both Ryland Pashovitz and Robert Levin, who had surrendered playing time to freshman Joey Daccord earlier in the season.
“I thought Pash(ovitz) was excellent on Friday,” Powers said. “Rob (Levin) is really good in this building (Oceanside Ice Arena), he’s comfortable in this building, he’s played in this building for four years and he was dynamite. He made one mistake and it hurt us because we didn’t score. He played well enough to win.”
Daccord currently leads the trio with seven starts, but Powers is confident with any of this three goaltenders against a Raiders team that enters Friday with a 3-8-4 record and are currently on a three-game losing streak.
They are no slouch however, as the Raiders were a tournament team as recently as 2014 and have won against Yale and tied Harvard, both of whom were ranked teams when they met.
“They’re all heavy, they all play hard,” Powers said on the Raiders. “Looks like they have pretty good goaltending. They’re pretty young like us. They brought in a lot of new kids like us. They have a lot of good wins and a lot of close losses and they don’t have any bad losses.”
Powers is right about them being young. Three of their four points leaders – Adam Dauda, Bobby McMann and Jake Snodgrass – are underclassmen. The Raiders don’t have a go-to scorer per se, instead sporting a more balanced attack. Dauda leads the team with just four goals, while seven others have three goals on the season.
Maybe it’s part due to the Raiders’ struggles and maybe because it’s because he feels the team is rejuvenated, but Powers is confident that the Sun Devils can earn their first weekend sweep of the season.
“I think we are on the right track,” he said. “We really felt like that was a winnable game on Saturday. We got an unfortunate bounce with the goal against, after I looked at it on video. We had some really good chances there at the start that we didn’t finish on. It’s a mental thing. When we have a chance to win and put teams away, we are a young team, and we have to go off of experiences like we did on Saturday and learn from it.”