The second ranked Arizona State hockey team cruised to a 10-2 victory over San Diego State University Friday night. The Sun Devils scored the first seven goals of the contest before SDSU found the back of the net.
The Sun Devils showcased their depth in Oceanside Ice Arena and proved that the entire Division 1 roster is capable of playing on any given night.
Nine different Sun Devils scored a goal in the first game of the series, including first career ASU goals by Kory Chisholm, Connor Buchanan and Mike Smith. Phil Sansone saw action for the second time this season as he recorded two assists and Kyle Hughes scored a power play goal on a wicked slap shot from the top of the circle and he finished with three points. Goaltender Kyle Dietriech is now 15-0 in the last two seasons against Division 2 opponents.
Going into the game, the Sun Devils knew they needed to work on a couple of things. One in particular was their defensive mentality. After the first period of play, they had only given up one shot on goal.
The Sun Devils did a much better job of playing disciplined as they only had three penalties on the night. The only glaring problem of the night was defensive lapses in their own zone.
Defenseman Darcy Charrois got caught midway through the second period trying to catch Eric Stelnick from behind and his tripping penalty turned into a penalty shot goal. Minutes later, Jordan Young turned the puck over on the man advantage and the Sun Devils were caught too deep in the offensive zone. The play resulted in Kevin Vaughn's seventh goal of the season on a breakaway chance.
ASU finished two for six on the power play and successfully killed all three of their penalties. Despite an eight-goal margin of victory, there are still some minor adjustments Coach Greg Powers would like to make before Saturday nights game. Some of those adjustments are to take better control of the puck and continue to work on the specialty teams.
This Sun Devils team is something special and if they can put everything together soon and minimize their minor mistakes, there is no reason this team will not compete for an ACHA national championship.
Game two will take place Saturday night at 7 p.m.