NEWARK, Del. -- It may seem odd to find a home rink advantage 2,309 miles away, but for one Sun Devil, that's just what happened.
Arizona State senior forward Troy Scott grew up just 10 minutes away from Fred Rust Arena in Newark, Del., the hosting site of the 2014 ACHA National Tournament. On Sunday night, Scott scored two goals, including the game winner, to power his top-seeded Sun Devils past defending ACHA national champion Minot State 4-0 and into the Final Four for the second consecutive year.
On the other end of the ice, ASU freshman goalie Robert Levin continued his sensational season, as he recorded his second consecutive shutout in the ACHA tournament to shut down the Beavers and end their title reign.
With first line winger Brian McGinty suspended after a fight in Friday night's second round win over Rhode Island, ASU needed someone to step up to help with the offense.
They got an entire line to do so.
Scott was part of ASU's fourth line which became the story of the game with their excellent play. Along with senior David Jantzie and freshman Patrick Yudez, the trio accounted for all four Sun Devil goals, two by Jantzie, as they dominated Minot State whenever they stepped foot onto the ice.
The Sun Devils controlled the game from the opening puck drop. ASU was able to generate consistent pressure in the Minot State zone, firing several quality shots onto Beaver goalie Wyatt Waselenchuk. The senior netminder was equal to the task, and made several impressive saves.
So one-sided was the opening period that Minot State did not manage a shot on Levin until 9:20 seconds into the game. However, thanks to Waselenchuk, the game remained scoreless.
That changed late in the first period, when a loose puck in front was picked up by Scott, whose backhander went up and over Waselenchuk for the period's lone goal. ASU outshot Minot State 14 to 5 in the period.
The second period followed the same script as the first. Both Waselenchuk and Levin were outstanding, making several key saves. The Beaver offense began to come to life in the latter half of the period, and challenged Levin with some sustained attacks.
Fourth line to the Sun Devil rescue.
As the Beaver momentum was building, Yudez brought the puck into the zone, and after a Jantzie shot was turned away by Waselenchuk, Scott cleaned up the mess and knocked in the rebound to double the lead.
ASU's defense then tightened up in the third period, keeping the Beavers at bay, while they continued to pepper Waselenchuk. The Sun Devil forecheck was especially active in the final period, and it soon paid dividends.
Showing great hustle, Jantzie made a steal just inside the Minot State blueline, raced around the defender to Waselenchuk's glove side. Jantzie then faked a shot, drawing Waselenchuk to the near post as Jantzie raced around the net and put in the wraparound for the goal.
Given the play of Levin and the defense in front of him, that tally ended any hopes of a Beaver rally. With just under one second on the clock and an open Minot State net, Jantzie buried another goal to put an exclamation mark on a top-to-bottom impressive effort.
ASU returns to the ACHA Final Four looking to fare better than last year, when after two impressive games as the tournament's No. 2 seed, they were upset 6-4 by No. 9 Lindenwood. The Sun Devils will now face No. 5 Stony Brook on Monday night with a trip to the program's first-ever ACHA national championship game on the line.