In front of a stone-cold, jam-packed standing room only crowd at Oceanside Ice Arena, Arizona State (4-12) enjoyed an action-filled 5-4 victory over Colgate (3-9-4) on its home ice on Friday night.
It was the first of two games the Sun Devils will play at home this weekend before playing elsewhere for 50 days until January 20.
“These four games at Oceanside are a kind of our important home segment and getting wins for our fans is crucial to us,” said sophomore forward Louie Rowe.
Arizona State is in the midst of its longest home-stretch of the season at four games. Through the first three, the Sun Devils sit at 2-1.
“It’s a small, packed, little arena, and when we fill it out, the energy is great. And we love coming out here every day and seeing who supports us,” Rowe said.
Not only did Rowe enjoy playing on home ice, but he cherished his first and second career goals as a Sun Devil earning him the first star of the game.
His first-ever goal was on a shorthanded breakaway midway into the first period. He faked right, shot left and gave the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead. Rowe’s second goal broke a 3-3 tie in the middle of the third period putting ASU up 4-3.
“I told him this week you’re going to get two on Friday,” said head coach Greg Powers. “We put him on the power play just to build his confidence up a little bit and he made me look really smart.”
Powers may have been able to predict Rowe’s two-goal performance, but the Sun Devils’ special teams has been unpredictable all season.
Coming into the weekend, Arizona State ranked 56th of 60 teams in the nation on power play percentage, scoring just seven goals on 78 power plays. On Friday night, the Sun Devils capitalized scoring two goals on seven power plays and even poked in a shorthanded goal.
“We definitely won the special teams battle,” Powers said.
Other than Rowe, senior forward Robbie Baillargeon, freshman forward Brinson Pasichnuk, and sophomore defenceman Jakob Stridsberg scored for the Maroon and Gold.
Powers recognized Stridsberg and Baillargeon for their effort in practice. Baillargeon leads the team with eight goals and Stridsberg has four.
“It’s the two guys who are always out early and they’re always out late and they’re always putting in extra work shooting the puck,” said Powers. “It’s no fluke that they’re the ones who are producing the most because they put in the most work.”
Sophomore goalie Ryland Pashovitz saved 30 of 34 shots, posting a .882 save percentage. He has won his last two games in goal, and Powers mentioned that he will start again on Saturday night.
The Sun Devils will now attempt to earn their first Division I home sweep on Saturday. Puck drop against Colgate will come at 7:05 p.m.