TEMPE, Ariz. -- Thursday's game between No. 1 Arizona State and No. 11 Central Oklahoma was not for the squeamish or faint of heart.
In their first game back after the month-long semester break, the Sun Devils opened up the second half of the season with a crushing 12-0 victory over the Bronchos that wasn't even as close as the score would indicate. ASU thoroughly dominated UCO in every facet of the game from the opening faceoff in improving to a perfect 24-0-0 on the season.
Colin Hekle, Faiz Khan, and David Jantzie each scored two goals for the Sun Devils to power a relentless offensive attack that outshot the Bronchos 55 to 21. In net, ASU goalie Robert Levin made things look easy behind a stingy ASU defense in registering his fifth shutout of the year while lowering his ACHA-leading goals against average to a microscopic 0.94.
Showing no ill effects from their time off, ASU put the game away almost instantly.
Just five minutes into the game, Liam Norris redirected a Drew Newmeyer slapshot from the point past UCO goalie Tory Caldwell for the 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, ASU found themselves on a penalty kill after an elbowing call, but quickly turned the tables. Captain Colin Hekle gained possession just outside the ASU zone, sped through two UCO defenders, and showed great patience in waiting until Caldwell had committed to a deke. Hekle then easily backhanded it in to double the lead. Just before the end of the opening period, Faiz Khan scored ASU's third goal, when he was able to put back a rebound despite being knocked down onto his knees in front of the goal.
As one-sided as the opening period was, it was merely prelude to what may have been ASU's best single period of the season.
The Sun Devils scored six goals in the middle frame, while keeping UCO from mounting any kind of offensive momentum with a suffocating defense.
Sean Murphy got things started with a power play goal, before Hekle struck for his second goal on a wicked wristshot that beat Caldwell five-hole. Over the next four minutes, Brian McGinty, Ryan Ostertag, and Khan scored in the ensuing four minutes to put the nail in the Broncho coffin.
At that point, UCO pulled Caldwell and put in junior goalie Bretton Patchett, who would fare no better. David Jantzie welcomed him to the game by scoring his first goal of the year with just 1:59 left in the period.
Up 9-0, ASU wasn't done. Far from it.
Jantzie registered his second goal of the night six minutes in to the third, putting ASU into double digits, and fellow senior Danny McAuliffe scored on a breakaway midway through the period. To put a merciful end to the goal blitzkrieg, defenseman Drew Newmeyer scored a shorthanded goal with just 2:40 left.
With the win, Levin improves to 13-0-0 on the season, while Caldwell drops to 10-10-0.
ASU will begin a two-game weekend series against the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Both Friday and Saturday night's games begin at 7:30.
1st - ASU, 15:00: Norris (8), assist Newmeyer
1st - ASU, 10:15: Hekle (16) Shorthanded
1st - ASU, 1:19: Khan (4), assist Murphy
2nd - ASU, 15:14: Murphy (12), assist McGinty Power Play
2nd - ASU, 13:34: Hekle (17)
2nd - ASU, 10:58: McGinty (12)
2nd - ASU, 9:30: Ostertag (10), assist Burkemper
2nd - ASU, 6:17: Khan (5), assists McGinty, Murphy
2nd - ASU, 1:59: Jantzie (1), assists Chisholm, Yudez
3rd - ASU, 14:28: Jantzie (2), assist Yudez
3rd - ASU, 7:42: McAuliffe (13)
3rd - ASU, 2:40: Newmeyer (3), assists Murphy, Scott Shorthanded