ASU hockey ready to roll in season opener

Goalie Joe D'Elia is locked in a heated competition for the starting spot. - MIchelle Hekle

The new look ASU hockey team is prepared for its first two games against SDSU.

The Arizona State hockey team is ready to shake the rust off this Friday and Saturday in the season opener against San Diego State University. The fresh Sun Devils are excited to suit up in maroon and gold.

"Our intensity has gotten better each day and practice," said senior goalie Joe D'Elia. "Guys are honestly really excited. I mean we have 14 new guys so the intensity level is definitely there, because everyone wants to put that jersey on for the first time."

Head coach Greg Powers plans on using all the starters for game one and seeing how things go for game two.

"Friday night I'm going to dress the best lineup that I feel like I have; whether it is or not is to be determined," he said. "If I see things that I like on Friday that I want to enhance and work on Saturday that could happen or if I feel like I need to get a look at other guys on Saturday then I'll do that."

The Aztecs will come to Tempe with a 1-0 record. They won their season opener last Friday at home against CSU Long Beach 8-2.

Last season SDSU probably had more fun on Mill Avenue than they did at Oceanside Ice Arena. The Sun Devils crushed the Aztecs 10-2 the first game and 12-1 the second game. Faiz Khan had a goal and two assists in game one and Danny McAuliffe scored twice and added three helpers in game two. D'Elia only started the second game for ASU going 22-23 in the win. The Sun Devil defense held SDSU to just nine shots on goal in the first game.

This will probably be one of the easiest series ASU has all season. It comes at a great time for the Sun Devils as Powers continues to get a feel for his roster full of new talents.

"We have a lot to work on, but that's what those games are for and we'll use those games to develop chemistry and just fine-tune everything," he said. "Nothing is going to be perfect out of the gates, but I expect a good result."

Powers also indicated that the Saturday game might feature some of his players that don't expect to see much playing time this season.

"I'd love to get everybody in if we can this weekend, but again this is college hockey and you're not worried about that."

Expect to see a lot of goals on Friday, a lot of new faces on Saturday, and two wins for ASU when the final buzzer sounds.

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