ASU hockey dominates San Diego State 12-1 in season openerPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- That was just how they drew it up.
Following their run to the Final Four last season, Arizona State's hockey team managed to retain a talented core of players while adding several highly regarded recruits to their roster over the offseason.
The hype surrounding the program was increased just hours before Friday's season opener, when the ACHA rankings were released with ASU holding the No. 2 spot in the nation. With those things in place, the ASU entered their match-up believing that anything short of a national championship would be a failure.
If their performance against San Diego State in the 2013-2014 season opener is any indication, the Sun Devils have every intention of meeting those lofty expectations. ASU throttled SDSU 12-1 in an absolutely dominating performance from start to finish.
The Sun Devils wasted little time in asserting their dominance over the Aztecs.
Kale Dolinski, last season's leading goal scorer, slid one past SDSU goalie Filip Curvokic just 63 seconds into the game, and the rout was on.
ASU had nearly full control of the puck for the next 10 minutes, firing a continuous stream of shots on Curkovic, who made several big saves. With just under nine minutes left, Sean Murphy, making his ASU debut converted a one-timer off an assist from Faiz Khan. Murphy struck again five minutes later, assisted by fellow newcomer Jarrod Levos.
Things then stabilized until a wild final minute of the period. A steal at the blue line by SDSU's Travis Sevilla turned into a breakaway, and Sevilla beat ASU goalie Joe D'Elia high gloveside for the goal. Not to be outdone, the Sun Devils responded 31 seconds later on Danny McAuliffe's 57th career goal.
That momentum only increased in the second period. ASU scored five goals in the frame, with their accurate passing dissecting the Aztec defense. The special teams got their first work of the season, and the Sun Devils scored two power play goals during the period and successfully killed the only SDSU penalty.
The highlight of the period came on a two-on-one break run by two other ASU freshman. Zach Holstrom entered the SDSU zone on the right wing. He got tangled with the Aztec defender, but as Holstrom fell, he managed to get off a perfect pass to the streaking Chris Burkemper, who knocked it passed Curkovic.
The final frame belonged to ASU defenseman Brett Prechel, who scored three of his four points in the period, including his first goal since the 2011-2012 season.
The offensive explosion filled the stat sheet. Fourteen different Sun Devils scored a point, including six freshmen. D'Elia made 17 saves to get the win, while Curkovic stopped 38 of the 50 ASU shots in a losing, but valiant, effort.
These two teams will meet again on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
1st - ASU: 18:57 - Dolinski (1), assists Levos, McAuliffe
1st - ASU: 13:17 - Murphy (1), assist Khan
1st - ASU: 8:54 - Murphy (2), assist Levos
1st - SDSU: 0:55 - Sevilla (1), unassisted
1st - ASU: 0:24 - McAuliffe (1), assists Dolinski, Norris
2nd - ASU: 14:52 - Yudez (1), unassisted
2nd - ASU: 13:28 - Norris (1), assists McAuliffe, Hoben
2nd - ASU: 6:00 - Khan (1), assists, Prechel, Norris Power Play
2nd - ASU: 5:37 - Burkemper (1), assist Holstrom
2nd - ASU: 0:55 - Young (1), assist McGinty, Murphy, Power Play
3rd - ASU: 16:09 - Prechel (1), assist Holstrom
3rd - ASU: 13:12 - Burkemper (2), assists Holstrom, Prechel
3rd - ASU 6:56 - McGinty (1), assist Prechel, Blessing