Shorthanded ASU hockey throttles Arizona 7-0

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By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

TEMPE, Ariz. -- With No. 1 Arizona State missing six key players, Arizona was poised to pull off a rare win over their heated rival.

Patrick Yudez had other ideas.

The sophomore center notched his first career hat trick to as ASU topped Arizona 7-0 on Friday night.

"I was shooting the puck, and it was going in," said Yudez.

Friday was ASU's 44th win over Arizona in their last 45 meetings, dating back to 2009.

"We played exactly the way we wanted to and executed our gameplan in the first and third," said ASU head coach Greg Powers. "In the second, we got away from what was working, but we got back to it in the third."

Down six players—including two of their top three scorers—who are off to play for Team USA in the World University Games, ASU's depth proved to be the difference. Efforts from players such as Mak Barden and Kory Chisholm caught Powers' eye, and the coach hopes his absent stars took note.

"It was a lesson for the guys who are watching online in Chicago before they go to Spain is that energy and effort and simplicity and execution get the job done," said Powers. "That's what these guys did tonight."

Sun Devil goalie Robert Levin made 14 saves in recording his ACHA-leading 8th shutout of the season.

ASU wasted little time in jumping on their rivals, thanks to an assist from some tricky geometry.

Early on, Forward Mak Barden skated behind the Wildcat net, and attempted a pass into the slot. Instead, the puck deflected off the skate of goalie Austin Wilson and over the line, giving the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.

Shortly thereafter, Patrick Yudez doubled the lead. A rebound in front of Wilson trickled over into the slot, and a diving Yudez managed to backhand the puck over Wilson's blocker.

Yudez struck again late in the period, when his wraparound attempt trickled through the legs of Wilson. Before the public address announcer at Oceanside Ice Arena could even finish the details of that goal, ASU's David Norris, assisted by brother Liam, beat Wilson just nine seconds later.

"I don't know how it went in, it was a weird goal, but I'll take it," said Norris.

Wilson was then pulled in favor of Garrett Patrick.

Following a scoreless second period, Yudez returned to the score sheet. He picked up a loose puck on the left wing a fired a snapshot over the stick of Garrett. 

The Norris brothers teamed up minutes later, with Liam again setting up David for his second goal of the night. The feat was made all the more special as Friday was the first time that the brothers had played on the same line.

"The second one was a great pass by him," said Norris. "It was pretty special to play with him. It was the first game we played together. We had to get the rust off, but it seemed like we were connecting by the end."

For good measure, ASU tacked on the extra point when Gianni Mangone rifled home a slapshot on the power play.

Levin improves to 24-3 on the year, while Wilson drops to 3-3.

These two teams will conclude the series when they meet at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night. It will be the Senior Night for the Sun Devils, as their final five games of the regular season all come on the road.

Three Stars

1st - Patrick Yudez: Hat trick

2nd - Robert Levin: 14 saves

3rd - David Norris: 2 goals, assist

Scoring Summary

1st, ASU - 16:01: Barden (4)

1st, ASU - 13:16: Yudez (2), assists Engbar, Chisholm

1st, ASU - 1:23: Yudez (3), assist Chisholm

1st, ASU - 1:14: D. Norris (3), assist L. Norris

3rd, ASU - 12:24: Yudez (4), assist Mangone

3rd, ASU - 10:07: D. Norris (4), assists L. Norris, Newmeyer

3rd, ASU - 4:36: Mangone (5), assists Newmeyer, D. Norris Power Play