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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils Overpower RPI 5-3 in Home Victory

A high offensive showing and good goalkeeping led the Sun Devils to win.

#27 freshman forward Brett Gruber
Eric Classen

After 10 days on the east coast, Arizona State (3-11) came home to Oceanside Ice Arena and enjoyed a 5-3 win over Rensselaer Poly (2-12-1) in a game they controlled on their home ice.

“It was a good win. It was a really good win,” said Arizona State coach Greg Powers. “We felt like we outplayed them for 60 minutes.”

ASU played its first 12 of 13 games against ranked opponents, while the unranked Engineers had the worst winning percentage (.167) of any team Arizona State has played thus far.

“Those first 13 games were really tough and that’s a good team and a good program too, but those games prepared us for this stretch that we’re going to go on here before the Christmas break and hopefully it translates into some more wins,” Powers said.

On their four-game road trip, the Sun Devils went 1-14 scoring on power plays.

Tonight, Arizona State missed in its first two chances in the first period, but junior Wade Murphy found the net on a third period power play goal to give the Sun Devils a 4-3 lead.

“I think that’s one of the reasons why we won tonight,” Murphy said. “We’ve been struggling there lately, but I think the power play will get things going… It worked a lot this week in practice.”

The offense tied its season high, scoring five goals for a third time this season.

Freshman Brinson Pasichnuk, sophomore Nicholas Gushue, sophomore Dylan Hollman, Murphy and senior Robbie Baillargeon all scored Friday night, respectively.

However, it was sophomore goalie Ryland Pashovitz who caught his coach’s eyes the most.

“Pash (Pashovitz) was really good in the third,” Powers said. “He shut it down and had some big saves.”

After allowing four goals in 37 shots in an 8-0 loss to Penn State, Pashovitz saved 23 of 26 shots.

Pashovitz played the majority of the minutes of any Sun Devil goalie in the Penn State series, and played this entire game.

The 5-3 win marked the third Sun Devil win this season, which already tied last season’s win total against NCAA Division I opponents, and Arizona State still has at least 22 of such games left to play.

“It’s a stepping stone in the right direction. This weekend is a big one for us. I think for our confidence and for everything standing. That’s a great win for us,” Murphy said.

The Sun Devils face off against RPI again on Saturday evening at 5 p.m., Mountain Standard Time.