Winning is good. Winning in style is even better.
That's what the Arizona State Sun Devils did Saturday night in the second of their two games in the Kendall Hockey Classic, defeating Alaska Fairbanks 2-1. This marks the first NCAA win in ASU's history, and it came with some dramatics.
Late in the the third period, the game was tied up at one and it seemed destined for overtime. That is, until junior forward Ryan Belonger changed things. With 34 seconds left in regulation, Belonger received a pass from Jordan Masters and netted the puck on a breakaway, giving the Sun Devils the 2-1 victory.
Freshman Ryland Pashovitz was given the crease by Coach Greg Powers, and saved 37 shots and earned the victory.
Arizona State finished the Kendall Hockey Classic with a 1-1 record and an even goal differential. It was an impressive performance from ASU, taking its first NCAA opponent to overtime and then earning their first victory the next night. A building block for the rest of the season, one could say.
The Sun Devils next hit the ice on Oct. 15 when the make a trip to Connecticut to play Quinnipiac, UCONN and Sacred Heart.