There is no denying that it's been an incredible fall for the Arizona State hockey program.
The team is off to its best start in program history (23-0), they are currently ranked number one in the American Collegiate Hockey League, they won 36 straight games against rival University of Arizona, and five skaters are representing Team USA in the Winter World University Games.
Forwards Brian McGinty, Danny McAuliffe, and Sean Murphy and defensemen Jordan Young and Alex Temby were the five Sun Devils selected to represent the Red, White and Blue. Arizona State is the most represented university in Trentino, Italy and Adrian College was second with three skaters.
Arizona State is receiving national attention in part because of its freshman class. Sean Murphy (21 years, 8 months, 4 days) and Alex Temby (21 years, 1 month) are the youngest forward and defenseman respectively on the Team USA roster, and they will both be eligible to play in the 2015 World University Games as well.
In 2011, USA's sixth place finish was the best ever at these games, but the 2013 group has the potential to medal. The Sun Devils already began making contributions in a 6-1 exhibition win a few nights ago.
Senior Brian McGinty and Danny McAuliffe play on the top line along with Robert Morris of Illinois senior Gehrett Sargis (8 goals, 6 assists 14 points, 9 games). In the first shift of the exhibition, McGinty scored Team USA's first goal of the winter on the first shot.
The former ACHA player of the week is tied for second on the Sun Devils with 28 points and he should make up a potent combination with McAuliffe. The two ASU seniors have played together on the power play some this season, but ultimately they could find some more chemistry in Italy.
Surprisingly Jordan Young and Alex Temby were split up on different lines after going overseas. Young will start the games playing alongside Ohio University's Duncan Green, who is the tallest player on the team standing at 6-foot-4. Meanwhile, Temby will be the extra, dressed defenseman.
Of course the players get to enjoy themselves a little and explore the city, but McGinty said in a text message that it's very "business-like" in the respect that the team is focused on competing for their home country.
The Sun Devils will lace up their skates Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to take on Team Sweden in the first game of the round robin. Team USA will play Latvia on Friday and Italy on Sunday morning before the tournament officially begins on December 18.