Blades of glory: ASU hockey wins first tournament title - Tucson News Now

Blades of glory: ASU hockey wins first tournament title

ASU hockey celebrates its first tournament title with a win over Michigan Tech in Las Vegas. (Source: thesundevils.com) ASU hockey celebrates its first tournament title with a win over Michigan Tech in Las Vegas. (Source: thesundevils.com)
ASU head coach Greg Powers is creating a winning culture at ASU. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ASU head coach Greg Powers is creating a winning culture at ASU. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
ASU is still under .500 on the season, but the win marks a turning point in the program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) ASU is still under .500 on the season, but the win marks a turning point in the program. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The win was a culmination of a lot of hard work. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The win was a culmination of a lot of hard work. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5/AP) -

Sun Devil hockey has caught fire.

Two and a half years into their move from a club sport to NCAA Division I, ASU has captured its first tournament title. The Sun Devils beat hockey blue blood Michigan Tech to capture the Ice Vegas Invitational last weekend at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s been great,” said Greg Powers, ASU’s head coach. “It was a good moment for our players. We were really happy for them. All these guys chose to come to ASU to build a program. They knew there was going to be some rough patches as we start this and build it and go through the process. For our guys to be able to experience together that championship and the taste of winning on a big stage against two really good programs that we just beat, it was a good experience for them. Hopefully winning will breed winning and it will become contagious."

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The win was a culmination of a lot of hard work. Hopefully, it will also be a sign of things to come.

“We've been kind of treading water a little bit lately,” said Joey Daccord, ASU’s goalie. “We feel like that can be a springboard for us for the rest of the season to kind of have the confidence that we can play with anybody. It was a great field in the tournament. Just definitely gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season."

With Scottsdale’s Auston Matthews a year removed from being the NHL’s No. 1 pick, the NHL launching the expansion Golden Knights in Vegas, and ASU on the rise, hockey appears to be booming in the desert southwest. It’s something that some Sun Devils thought they might not ever see.

"It was unbelievable,” said Dominic Garcia, an ASU freshman and Las Vegas native. “You never imagine being able to play out here, out west… It was nice being able to celebrate with your team in the locker room after. To walk outside and be able to see your whole family and all your friends are there, I never imagined I'd be playing in Arizona. I definitely never imagined I'd be playing at an NHL rink in Vegas. It was definitely special."

ASU is still under .500 on the season, but the win marks a turning point in the program. Powers can reach more recruits with a win like this.

“You do everything you can through our process to develop a winning swagger. It just can't happen overnight. Certainly winning one tournament is not going to permanently give us that but it's a step in the right direction,” said Powers. “It's a great piece of our foundation that we're going to be proud of forever. It's time to move on we've got a really tough opponent coming in.”

UMass-Lowell comes to Oceanside Arena this Friday and Saturday. Quinnipiac will be in the Valley next weekend, with Saturday’s game set to be played at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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