The United States finished fourth at the Winter World Games after back-to-back devastating losses, but all five Arizona State skaters shined in Italy.
Senior Brian McGinty led the way with two goals and two assists in six games, including one power play tally and another goal during an exhibition game. Forwards Danny McAuliffe and Sean Murphy each finished with a goal and an assist and Jordan Young was an offensive menace at the blue line, gathering three assists for Team USA. Alex Temby did not record a point, but was solid defensively and played with multiple linemates. (all stats are unofficial)
With the exception of the first game in the round robin play of the World Winter University Games, Arizona State players scored at least two points each game.
When Arizona State students return to Tempe for the spring semester, McAuliffe will have earned the title of Captain America after leading his country with a "C" on his sweater. Captain America, McGinty and Young spent a ton of time on the power play, and even with an over-sized international rink, they came together and looked in sync in Italy. That fluid play will give them momentum for the next semester.
And McGinty made it known how proud he is of his Arizona State teammates who played with him during these games.
Xtrord effort by USA WUG team. If ASU boys from this team dupe the effort along with rest of ASU uber-talent, we'll be celebrating in March!— Brian McGinty (@BrianMcGinty) December 22, 2013
For those who don't know, McGinty is referring to celebrating the team's first ACHA National Championship in Delaware. The Pennsylvania native says it's easy. Just duplicate the same effort they had in Italy and that very well may happen.
This experience was also more than just playing hockey. It was a chance for these five gentleman to represent their country (which they proudly did), bond, and explore abroad. Young's winter break is only beginning considering he tweeted "Italy. Germany. Chicago. Arizona." That sounds like an exciting couple of weeks away from the textbooks and rink.
For Murphy, he is finally back home to enjoy a much deserved break.
Being a North Carolina native, I must admit that I miss Bojangles chicken and Cookout burger and fries too.
But this most definitely will not be the last time Arizona State represents Team USA at the Winter World Games. Young, Temby and Murphy will all be upperclassmen next time and there are plenty of current freshman who are already shining this season.
Team USA Men finish 4th, the highest finish in team history. Next WUG games are in Grenada, Spain next February 4-14, 2015.— ACHA Men's D1 (@achamensd1) December 21, 2013
But the road is only beginning for Arizona State. The Sun Devils can enjoy their holiday break now, but when they come back to the desert in January, they have a No.1 ranking and an undefeated record to keep alive.