TEMPE, Ariz. -- Now it is time for the real Arizona State hockey season to begin.
The Sun Devils, ranked No. 2 in the ACHA, improved to 3-0-0 on the young season with a dominating 10-0 win over Weber State on Friday night, following last weekend's sweep of San Diego State. With this stretch of games against substantially weaker competition behind them, ASU can now prepare for next weekend's series against Arizona, which figure to be a pair of slobberknockers.
Weber State initially showed signs of life, generating a few effective possessions early on, but could not put any shots on Sun Devil goalie Robert Levin.
Then, the ASU offense woke up.
Taking the game's first power play, freshman Sean Murphy notched his team-leading fourth goal of the season to begin the rout. After a Kale Dolinski goal doubled the lead, newcomer Ryan Ostertag made the player of the game. Taking the puck into the offensive zone along the right wing, he made a stunning deke around a Wildcat defender and then, while falling, feed Brian McGinty who fired the puck in for a 3-0 lead.
ASU added two more goals, including a shorthanded tally by Zach Holstrom, to close out a lopsided period.
With the game clearly in hand, the Sun Devils appeared to take their foot off the gas in the second period.
Freshman Chris Blessing scored the sixth Sun Devil goal just under two minutes into the period, but ASU was unable to solve Weber State goalie Ian Frank. Playing with admirable tenacity despite the rough start, Frank made several impressive saves over the rest of the period, including a sensational glove save on a point-blank wrister by ASU captain Colin Hekle.
Hekle would finally end his scoring drought in the third period. After Dolinski struck early to extend it to 7-0, Hekle slapped home a one-timer from the slot to notch his first goal of the year. After that goal, Frank was pulled and freshman Colby Atkinson took over in goal for the rest of the game. Making up for a scoreless opening weekend, Hekle scored again five minutes later on the power play.
For good measure, Patrick Yudez's goal with under two minutes left made it 10-0, the thrid straight game in which ASU has reached double digits in goals.
Levin's first career shutout gave him the win to improve to 2-0-0 on the season. Frank fell to 3-2-0.
ASU will host Arizona for a two-game series starting next Friday night at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe.
1st - ASU, 15:05: Murphy (4), assists Dolinski, McGinty Power Play
1st - ASU, 9:43: Dolinski (2), assists, Norris, McAuliffe
1st - ASU, 7:50: McGinty (3), assist Ostertag
1st - ASU, 5:13: Holstrom (1), assists Scott, Levos Shorthanded
1st - ASU: 1:14: Norris (2)
2nd - ASU, 18:09: Blessing (2), assists Newmeyer and Blomgren
3rd - ASU, 14:21: Dolinski (3), assist Norris
3rd - ASU, 12:39: Hekle (1), assist Khan, Murphy
3rd - ASU, 7:58, Hekle (2), assist Murphy Power Play
3rd - ASU, 1:54, Yudez (2), assists, Prechel, Holstrom