Arizona State University Ranked #1 in the ACHA
By: Allyson Cummings
Thursday, November 1st, marked the day that the Arizona State Sun Devils hockey team climbed to the top of the ACHA rankings. This becomes the greatest position held in all of ASU history; the maroon and gold have come along way from what once was.
The President and General Manager of the team, Ken Lind, commented that “The program has turned around through the wisdom and hard work of many. We created a plan of execution and for the most part we are on track. It feels good but we can only allow that feeling to last for a day. Tomorrow we need to get back to the business of putting our sites on the bigger prize of winning our last game of the year, and with that comes the prize of being a Champion and then the hard work of staying there and growing begins.”
A huge topic in ASU hockey this season involves the boys using their ‘killer instinct.’ This season, Arizona State has scored a total of 80 goals in the eleven games they have played so far. Putting this into perspective, last season the devils scored a total of 177 goals in 36 games, which means that they are on the fast track to passing last years’ number.
A contributing factor to this years’ success involves the incredible depth of ASU’s hockey team. Picking up excellent recruits such as Jordan Young, Stephen Collins, Kory Chisholm, and many more.
Stephen Collins, who had an astounding hat trick during the Eastern Michigan game on October 25th, has a total of 19 goals so far on the season.
Another factor that contributed to ASU reaching the number one spot in the ranks, was due to #1 Ohio University losing to #12 Liberty 4-3 on October 27th. This gave the Sun Devils the chance to capitalize on the rankings, and this they did.
When asked about what has gone right this season thus far, Coach Greg Powers replied that, “What went right is all of the pieces are in place with this program from off the ice to on. Most importantly, we have been able to attract top-flight hockey players and have them buy into our vision and passion for winning a championship here at ASU.”
The maroon and gold have in fact attracted top athletes to their program; this even includes athletes from out of the country, such as team captain Colin Heckle, or goaltender Joe D’Elia.
Powers also commented that, “Getting them to commit to us was step number one, then step number two was assembling a staff of people and having a veteran core to help make sure everybody buys in and we have all done that. It’s nice to be ranked #1, but by no means have we forgotten that the last ranking is the only ranking that matters.”
With that, the number one ranked team will be tested this weekend against their rival UofA in Tucson. With a sure battle filled with a lot of intensity, anything can happen in the world of hockey.