Arizona State hockey found out it was ranked number one in the country early on Friday and celebrated by blowing out Delaware 7-2. Even with nine players suspended for the game, the Sun Devils dominated the sixth ranked Blue Hens from start to finish.
ASU exploded out of the gate with a goal from Colin Hekle and Sean Murphy. Delaware managed to keep pace in the first period before the Sun Devils turned the game into a stat-padder. Murphy finished the game with a goal and two assists, Hekle and Dolinski would both score a shorthanded goal, and Jarrod Levos chipped in three assists.
"Situations like this they count on guys like me and Kale to produce," said Hekle. "It's nice to actually produce when you're needed so today was a nice step for putting my offensive game in the right direction for the rest of the season."
What made the blowout even more impressive was the nine suspended skaters for ASU. Key players like Danny McAuliffe, Jordan Young, and Brian McGinty were held out of tonight's game for a violation of team rules.
ASU head coach Greg Powers indicated after the game that some of the suspended players will return tomorrow and the others will be held out to reward some of the guys that played well in their absence.
"They made a very honest, minor mistake but we don't put up with that here," said Powers. "We're about trying to be perfect and that's both on and off the ice."
Even as the sixth ranked team, Delaware did not have enough legs and bodies to keep up with the number one team in the nation.
"We're just so deep and our forwards are so fast," said Levos. "It's easy to run down guys on the other side. Our speed really helps us a lot."
There are still improvements the Sun Devils can make before tomorrow's rematch. The Blue Hens managed to cut ASU's hot start in half after Alex Temby mishandled a puck on the blue line. Delaware's captain Mark Zeszut scored on a nice two-on-one play and Christopher Volonnino scored the other Blue Hen goal. It's only the second time all season the Sun Devils have let up two goals in a single game.