(Photo: Hekle Photo Images)
The Sun Devils rebounded after last night's loss with a thoroughly dominant win on Friday night
"What the (expletive) just happened," he asked with a smile.
That question was posed on the Arizona State bench after a wild goal from a scrum in front of the net that was part of a blistering second period goal storm that helped propel the ACHA's number one ranked team to a dominating 7-1 win over Williston State College on Friday night.
After a disappointing 3-2 loss on Thursday to No. 4 Minot State, the Sun Devils were in dire need of a strong response, and they got just that in a victory that improves the teama to 22-4 on the year.
However, much like last night, this game got off on the wrong foot.
With the puck behind his net, ASU goalie Kyle Dietriech—giving starter Joe D'Elia a night off—came out of his net to play a puck. However, a breakdown by the Sun Devils had Dietriech out of position, and Teton forward Ian Harvie gained possession and fed Colby Spoonemore for the easy tap in from the empty crease, giving Williston State a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds into the game.
Despite the deficit, the Sun Devils showed that they were the more skilled team, maintaining a large edge in possession and controlling the flow. They peppered Teton goalie Corey McMahon continually, but the sophomore netminder was up to the task each time through the first 10 minutes.
However, ASU finally broke through during the latter half of the period. Using their superior speed, ASU managed a two-on-one breakaway led by freshman defenseman Jordan Young. Young blasted a wrister off McMahon, and newcomer Kyle Bowen knocked in the rebound for a tie game and his first goal as a Sun Devil. Less than two minutes later, David Jantzie gave ASU a 2-1 lead with a one-timer off an assist by Danny McAuliffe.
If the somewhat close first period may have brought out some of the recent concerns about ASU playing down to level of competition, then the second period crosschecked them in the face.
The Sun Devils scored four goals in an eight-minute span during the middle of the period, including two just 13 seconds apart. Dan Styrna netted two, and ASU leading scorer Kale Dolinski assisted on three of the scores.
With the game getting out of hand, Williston State began to get a little cheap, and there were a flurry of penalties over the period's latter half, including a five minute (not 15-yard) "facemasking" major to WSC's Ryan Presthus. At one point, it was three-on-three hockey.
In the third period, the Sun Devils clearly took their foot off the gas, holding the line and limiting their attack. But that didn't stop Styrna from completing the hat trick late in the period, thanks in part to Dolinski's fourth assist of the night.
Dietriech improves to 4-1 on the year thanks to a very solid effort in net. WSC's McMahon took the loss, but did manage to remain steady after the second period scorching.
The Sun Devils will be back in action next weekend for three home games at Oceanside Ice Arena. They tangle with No. 10 Liberty on Thursday night before opening a two-game series against No. 15 Stony Brook on Friday and Saturday.
1st - WSC, 19:24: Spoonmore, assist Harvie
1st - ASU, 9:47: Bowen (1), assist Young
1st - ASU, 7:51: Jantzie (6), assist McAuliffe
2nd - ASU, 17:45: Styrna (9), assist Dolinski
2nd - ASU, 11:14: Findlay (6), assist Buchanan
2nd - ASU, 9:34: Styrna (10), assist Dolinksi
2nd - ASU, 9:21: Hekle (18) , assist Dolinski
3rd - ASU, 6:23: Styrna (11), assists Dolinski and McAuliffe