Norris hat trick powers No. 1 ASU to 7-2 win over Arizona

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By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Another night, another Arizona State win over rival Arizona.

Despite missing six key players who are off in Europe representing Team USA in the World University Games, the Sun Devil offense was once again dominant. After scoring two goals in Friday's 7-0 win over the Wildcats, ASU forward David Norris notched a hat trick to power the No.1 ranked Sun Devils to a 7-2 win in the series finale. 

"It was a good weekend," said ASU head coach Greg Powers. "We have guys out hurt, we have top guys in Spain, and we beat our archrival 14-2 on the weekend. There is really not much to complain about."

Two of Norris' goals were assisted by his brother Liam. Saturday was Senior Night for ASU, and Liam, along with Faiz Khan, played the final home game of their collegiate careers, as the Sun Devils concluded their home schedule for the season.

To mark the end of an era, ASU wasted no time in asserting their dominance over Arizona. 

Eric Rivard scored the game's opening goal just 16 seconds after the opening puck drop, knocking in a rebound of a Norris rebound. Ten minutes later, the roles would reverse as a Rivard shot was saved by Arizona goalie Garrett Patrick, but Norris was there to bury the puck into the net.

Up 2-0 to start the second period, it took ASU's Norris brothers just 33 seconds to double the lead. Liam fed David for a accurate wristshot that sped past Patrick just 27 seconds into the period, and a mere six seconds after that goal, Norris-to-Norris struck again.

"It's worked so far," Liam said of the pairing. "He plays the same way as I do, but he can score a little easier than I can. We're just having fun with it, and we're just clicking."

Comfortably up 4-0, Powers made a change in goal, taking out starter Robert Levin for Lucas Felbel.

"Rob is fine. It was just an opportunity to get Lucas some playing time," Powers said. "Rob has had a heckuva stretch, a lot of hockey." Levin notched his ACHA-leading 8th shutout in Friday's win over Arizona.

Kory Chisholm and Connor Mailey scored later in the period to put ASU up 6-0, but Arizona wasn't going down without a fight.

Taking advantage of a ASU penalty, the Wildcats struck on the power play when Jake Campbell rifled a shot past Felbel. UofA then notched another goal with just 11 seconds left in the period, when a fluttering dump-in attempt by Shane Gleason beat Felbel through heavy traffic.

That 6-2 margin would be as close as Arizona would get to the Sun Devils, and Coda Engbar notched his first goal of the season midway through the final period for the game's final tally.

Saturday marked ASU's eighth straight win over UofA and their 45th in the last 46 meetings between the desert rivals. That lone loss occurred during last year's Senior Night, which made Saturday's win all the more special.

"It felt good. We came off last year and everyone was so down, the worst feeling I've had here," said Liam Norris. "To go out there and beat them as bad as we did this weekend felt good. Redemption."

The win was not without a cost for ASU, as defenseman Jarrod Levos left the game with an injury.

"He's going to have to get some X-rays this week," Powers said. "He's out, I'd imagine, for next weekend."

In his place, forward Chris Blessing saw time on the blue line, and made the most of his opportunity.

"He did really well. He may find time back there on our road trip," Powers said.

ASU will head north next weekend for a Thursday game against Colorado State, then a two-game series against Colorado. The regular season concludes with a two-game showdown in Tucson against Arizona, whom ASU has outscored 30-4 through their six meetings this year.

"We still have a lot of hockey left this year," Powers said of what's next for his team. "It's not over yet. We're focused on sending them out on top."

While Khan has played his last home game as a Sun Devil, he now is focused on helping lead his team to a second consecutive ACHA national championship.

"There's no other option. Anything less is a failure."

Three Stars

1st: David Norris - Hat trick

2nd: Liam Norris - 2 assists

3rd: Coda Engbar - Goal

Scoring Summary

1st, ASU - 19:44: Rivard (17), assists D. Norris, Mangone

1st, ASU - 9:27: D. Norris (5), assists Rivard, Newmeyer

2nd, ASU - 19:33: D. Norris (6), assist L. Norris

2nd, ASU - 19:27: D. Norris (7), assist L. Norris

2nd, ASU - 17:28: Chisholm (3), assists Morris, Barden

2nd, ASU - 8:58: Mailey (4), assist Bowen

2nd, UofA - 6:39: Campbell (2), assists O'Dea, Gleason Power Play

2nd, UofA - 0:11: Gleason, assists Hogan, Olsen

3rd, ASU - 10:19: Engbar (1), assists Rivard, Newmeyer