TUCSON– It was the final game of the rivalry and Sun Devil Hockey made it a memorable one, riding a Joe Lappin hat trick and Robert Levin shutout en route to a 6-victory over Arizona.
“We had a nice, convincing win for our last-ever trip to Tucson, so you can’t complain,” head coach Greg Powers said.
Arizona State wasted no time, lighting the lamp early in the first period on a snipe by Ryan Ostertag. Any hope the Wildcats had of an upset were dashed when Jake Clifford dangled his way to a goal later in the frame.
But the star of the night was Lappin He scored in all three phases of the game, netting goals while at even strength, on the power play and short-handed.
“I’m getting lucky and they’re starting to go in,” Lappin said. “It felt really good to get it against them. Always a good game, a great rivalry.”
Jordan Masters also scored for the Sun Devils.
The game had a sentimental feel for one ASU player, as it featured the NCAA debut of junior Patrick Yudez, who has been battling an injury all season. Yudez was a stalwart on the ACHA club, and was part of the starting fourth line that helped win the ACHA national championship in 2014.
“It’s been such a long jersey, so it’s great to come full-circle and play against these guys,” Yudez said. “It’s great to finally get one in after a really long season.”
By saving all 18 shots, Levin extended the Sun Devils’ shutout streak to 132:31, dating back to Feb. 6 against Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It has featured shutouts by by Levin Friday and David Jacobson last weekend against Liberty.
Sun Devil Hockey closes its season next weekend when it welcomes the US National U-18 team to town. Game 1 will be Saturday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. MT at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, while Game 2 will be a 7:00 p.m. MT puck drop at Gila River Arena in Glendale. That game will be broadcast nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.