Arizona Rubber

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Sun Devils ‘going to be back’ in NCAA Tournament after solid ’18-19 run

 

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Arizona State University has only been an NCAA Division I team for four seasons but qualifying for the NCAA Tournament this year as an independent team was amazing.

And while the Sun Devils came up short, losing 2-1 to Quinnipiac University in the Midwest Regional on March 30 in Allentown, Pa., ASU coach Greg Powers said this won’t be the last time his club is in the tournament.

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“To make a national tournament in our third full season is a special accomplishment that no one else but our locker room thought that we could do,” said Powers. “We knew pretty early in the season that we had a pretty good team that could do some very special things.

“Anyone that says that we didn’t belong here or think that we didn’t deserve the right to be here is wrong and they couldn’t be more wrong. Our guys deserve to be here because they are as good as anybody and we have proven that all year. I think we proved that (against Quinnipiac) with how we didn’t go away and how we came back and nearly tied that thing up. I think that the takeaway is that we all know that we are going to be back, and it will be sooner than later.”

Brinson Pasichnuk scored the lone ASU goal and Joey Daccord, who later signed with the Ottawa Senators as the first Sun Devils player to ink an NHL contract, made 36 saves.

Former Jr. Coyotes goaltender Andrew Shortridge stopped 20 shots for Quinnipiac.

Seniors Anthony Croston (Phoenix native, Jr. Coyotes grad), Dylan Hollman, Jake Clifford and Jakob Stridsberg played in their final game as members of the Sun Devils.

“We have been through everything together,” said Croston. “It is definitely special that I am able to play Division I hockey at Arizona State because it is something that I never thought of growing up. When the opportunity came, I jumped right on it and it was nothing but amazing to me.”

ASU finished its historic season 21-13-1.

Photo/Arizona State Athletics

— Matt Mackinder

(April 22, 2019)