You wouldn't expect a game between the two best teams in the country to come down to a couple of freshmen, but that's just what happened Thursday night in Tempe. Michael Cummings scored the game-winning goal and Robert Levin stopped all but one to help No. 2 ASU hockey upset No. 1 Minot State 2-1. The Sun Devils remain unbeaten on the season with the victory over the defending national champions.
After the game ASU head coach Greg Powers said that the win was huge, but last year's victory over Penn State was bigger for the program.
"This is a very good win for us," said Powers. "This does not crown us champs. It makes us 17-0 and now we're focused on going 18-0."
Colin Hekle got the scoring started in the first period when he deflected a Faiz Khan pass around Minot State goalie Wyatt Waselenchuk. In the second period Cummings briefly gave ASU a two-goal lead before Michael Jordan cut the lead back to one for Minot State.
This was only the seventh game of the season for Cummings. He has had some injury issues and a wealth of talent in front of him. Cummings has taken advantage of the playing time though. His game-winner tonight was his fifth goal of the year.
Cummings' journey to the game-winner started off with a little chirping with a Minot State player on a faceoff.
"I was just leaning on him, I told him my left leg was bad and I needed to rest on him, and he didn't like it," said Cummings. "We won the draw and it happened to go right behind me and I just chipped the puck out. Troy came through and got it and skated it down the ice. I followed up and stayed high and he fed it across to Prechel. Prechel got a good shot on low and it just popped right onto my stick."
Two of the best offenses in the country had problems getting pucks behind Levin and Waselenchuk. Levin gave a lot of credit to his defense after the game and emphasized what the win meant for the team.
"It's huge. Getting the number one ranking is going to be big for the team," said Levin. "We've been building up for this all year."
The Sun Devils and Beavers will undoubtedly switch places in the rankings after the weekend if ASU survives a two-game series against Williston State this Friday and Saturday.