Jantzie looking to regain form during ASU hockey's title pushPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It is an interesting question.
How do you evaluate a season in which a team achieved a number of unprecedented feats, yet fell short of a national title that by every indication was well within their grasp?
Arizona State’s veteran forward David Jantzie looks towards the positive.
“I thought last season was a success,” he said. “We definitely came up short, but we were able to do things the program has never been able to accomplish before. I definitely think we can keep our heads up that it is something to build upon. When it came to Nationals, we were in a position that we’ve never been before. Next year, we know what it takes to make it to that final game.”
What Jantzie’s Sun Devils accomplished over the course of the 2012-2013 season was nothing short of remarkable.
ASU rose to hold the No. 1 ranking in the ACHA polls for the first time ever, a spot they held for the majority of the season. They defeated a NCAA Division I opponent (Penn State) for the first time ever, and extended their winning streak over rival Arizona to an astounding 32 games. The Devils then made their deepest postseason run in program history, advancing to the Final Four in the ACHA Tournament before being upset by ninth-seeded Lindenwood.
Yet while ASU was experiencing unprecedented success on the ice, Jantzie was playing through his own struggles.
“Last year was a down year for me,” Jantzie said. “My first two years were pretty good, but my offensive numbers were down. For me to be successful, I need to play more consistently. That will allow Powers to have a little bit more trust in me in those situations.”
After posting 65 points over his first two years in Tempe, the Alberta native produced just 17 (eight goals, nine assists) in 44 games last season, ranking 12th on the team. While the team’s tremendous depth at forward was a factor in the decrease, Jantzie believes that he can regain his point-producing form through extra work. But in the end, he knows that wins in the standings are far more important than points on the stat sheet.
“This summer, I stayed down here so that I could skate a little bit more,” said Jantzie. “I’m hoping that will translate into some more offensive results. But as long as the team’s winning, it’s not so much what’s going on with myself, it’s how I can contribute and how our team can get better.”
Despite the points not registering in previous years, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jantzie still found a way to make an impact for the Sun Devils. His size and physicality were great assets for the team’s forecheck, and his energy and relentlessness on the ice proved to be a valuable commodity that he believes rubs off on his teammates.
“I just want to be in a spot where I can contribute,” said Jantzie. “I’m more of a guy that the guys look up to. I just want to bring a lot of different energy to the team. Any way in which I can contribute from the first line to the fourth line, that’s where I want to be and I want to be the best at it.”
Jantzie did end the year on a high note individually, playing some of his best hockey during the ACHA tournament. He hopes that provides a springboard into this year.
“I felt like last year at the end of the year at Nationals, I had a pretty good tournament,” said Jantzie. “I look forward to building off what I did at the end of the year and shutting out the struggles that I had.”
Now a senior, Jantzie realizes that he has been a part of something special in the desert.
Thanks to the efforts of head coach Greg Powers and general manager Ken Lind, Sun Devil hockey has risen to the elite of the ACHA over the course of Jantzie’s career.
“It’s come a long ways. When I first came, ASU hockey was hardly on the map,” Jantzie remembers. “People now recognize us a bit more. You can tell when you go to our games. It’s a lot to get excited about going forward. I look forward to eventually becoming an alum and seeing where it can go from here.”
But before he reaches alumni status, there is one thing left for Jantzie to do for the Sun Devils.
“It’s definitely national title or bust. This is my last year, and I would not expect anything less.”