(Photo: Allyson Cummings/WCSN)
The Sun Devil hockey team had an amazing time last weekend, taking it to San Diego State to a tune of 23-2 in two games at Oceanside Ice Arena and starting off their year 2-0. On Friday night, ASU will take the ice against another DII foe, the Weber State Wildcats.
Weber State has a record of 2-1 so far this season, with their one loss coming on the road in their last game against the University of Utah last Saturday. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 16-8 this year, with eleven goals in one game against BYU.
This game is ASU’s third straight game against a Division II opponent to start the 2013-14 season, after their dismantling of San Diego State last weekend. The Devils played well, with crisp, tape-to-tape passing and dazzling puck movement creating openings to shoot the puck.
On the other end of the ice, all three goalies played well in their time on the ice. They held the Aztecs to just two goals in the two game series, with the first coming on a breakaway after a turnover at the defensive blue line.
Western Collegiate Hockey League Player of the Week Brian McGinty will look to continue his strong start to the season. McGinty recorded two goals and four assists for a total of six points in the two games last weekend, leading the team.
Freshmen Zackary Holstrom, Sean Murphy and Chris Burkemper all excelled in their first collegiate games, combining for six goals and five assists.
ASU should win Friday’s game handily, but winning is not the only reason for scheduling DII games early in the season. These games are for shaking the rust off of for the long season. It also works as a measuring stick for how the team could look the rest of the season.
A flawless performance against teams in a lesser division is expected and – if expectations are not met – the team can learn what it needs to do better. ASU looked very good in its first two games, but there are things that the Sun Devils can improve on.
If the Sun Devils play anywhere close to how they’ve been playing and how they’re expected to play this season, this game will not be close. In the two games last weekend, the Aztecs put some pressure on ASU in small spurts. Look for the Devils to minimize the Wildcats offense and win handily.
All three goaltenders have the potential to pitch a shutout, and this week should provide the team’s first of the year. With mistake-free hockey, the Sun Devils should have a double-digit win once again.
You can reach Matthew Tonis on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger or via email at email@example.com