College Hockey SW: Se 2 Ep 32. Feb 25, 2020

ITHSW ASU Seniors 2020

Sun Devil Thoughts

By Paul Hornstein

When I was a high school student, my politics and government teacher had as part of the syllabus that we had to write X number of book critiques. The only criteria for choosing the books were that they had to do with some aspect, literally ANY aspect of the government. It was at that point that I discovered the prolific writings of Robert Ludlum. What, you say, does Robert Ludlum have to do with ASU hockey? Well, as the tenth in the PWR (pairwise rankings…the formula used to determine the at large bids to the NCAA tournament) Sun Devils head into Senior weekend against Alaska-Anchorage, they would tell you, they agree with the number one axiom of Ludlum’s Jason Bourne series, “REST IS A WEAPON”. And as the coach clearly stated to me after their 3-0 shutout of the Bentley Falcons. We are out of gas.

In the first edition of this column we spoke of the importance of the series at Clarkson, and ASU played very well, as good as they have played since the Denver series, six weeks earlier. Two incredibly tight games that went to overtime, with each team winning once. Since that series, Coach Powers’ team has played on a tight rope, one even thinner than they were on beating Brown & RIT. And a lot of that thinning of that rope is because they are done with week 11 of a 13 week stretch where go without a week off to rest and recover. It is starting show, especially in the mind of the person whose thoughts count the most. The head coach.

After the Bentley game this weekend, a game where they clearly were the “slower” team, Powers told me that he may have to lighten up the practice schedule even more…almost to the point where it might not seem like they are practicing at all. Never heard a coach say that in any conscious memory that I have in 35 years learning coach speak.

20/20 vision

Since the calendar turned to 2020, the Devils are 10-2, with four games left. This streak has given ASU its second consecutive 20-win season. Before even thinking about the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season, that is 20 wins for second straight time for a fifth-year varsity program. An amazing achievement for a squad that has to travel like no other, then throw in a trip to China on top of it. Make one cross country round trip over a three-day period and let me know how you feel when it’s over…I know, these are athletes in prime condition. So what? On the last six weekends:

Home for Michigan Tech

Providence, Rhode Island v Brown

Home for RIT

Potsdam, NY v Clarkson (I live on LI, and had no interest in that eight-hour drive)

Home for Robert Morris

Worcester/Boston for Holy Cross & Bentley

Home for Alaska-Anchorage. One of the three other teams that might have an idea of what ASU is going through.

I don’t do frequent flyer miles, but if you do, plug that into your computer and figure out how many points you would get.

That being said, a second straight bid is so close that everyone can taste it. And they have gotten themselves in this spot by winning games every way possible, except a blowout. That would be boring. And no, the 6-1 RIT win was not a blowout. It was 1-1 five minutes into the third period, until ASU got four goals in about 2 ½ minutes.

Arizona State will take a six-game winning streak into Senior Weekend against Alaska Anchorage. It will be the last time this first four-year class of seniors that will take the ice for a home game. Do what you can to show this group the love they deserve for what they have done to build the foundation of this team going forward, and as the mantra says “Be the Tradition”.

Goalie Max Prawdzik, just came aboard this year, but still came up with some games to pull out victories.

Winger Tyler Busch, the co-captain, who switched his commitment from Ohio State to ASU, and led in a different way than his fellow co-captain.

Brett Gruber, the team’s best face off guy.

Steen Pasichnuk, one of teams’ key penalty killers for several seasons.

And finally, co-captain Brinson Pasichnuk, who will be the first ASU player to score 100 points. Okay as I write this (Sunday February 9, 2020) he has 99…it is almost unrealistic to think he won’t any points in the last four games)

Thank you, gentlemen for the contributions that will never be forgotten.

ITHSW ASU Seniors 2020