ASU Sun Devils Clinch WCHL Title

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No. 1 Ranked ASU Sun Devils Clinch WCHL Title —

The past two seasons have eclipsed a handful of firsts for the Arizona State hockey team.

Between the first 30-win season, first No. 1 ranking, first win over an NCAA D-I team and first ACHA Final Four appearance, the Devils are once again making history in the 2013-14 season.

This time, it’s history that resonates outside of just the organization.

The ASU Sun Devils are the 2013-14 Inaugural Western Collegiate Hockey League Conference Champions.

“It’s huge,” coach Greg Powers said. “Nobody will ever be able to take away the fact that ASU is the first-ever WCHL Champs. That is making history.”

The Devils 9-1 victory over WCHL-rival University of Colorado sealed the deal on Thursday night.

The boys continued their road trip the following two nights with an eight-round shootout victory on Friday, and a blowout win on Saturday against Colorado State.

ASU pic

photo courtesy of Colleen T. Hayes

While the weekend was highlighted by two players recording hat tricks — freshman Ryan Ostertag and senior Colin Hekle — and a conference championship, Powers is hell-bent on keeping his team’s eyes forward.

“It’s always nice to win hardware,” Powers said. “(But) we set out to win three trophy’s this year: the Cactus Cup, the WCHL trophy and the Murdoch Cup. That’s two down, one to go!”

The Murdoch Cup is presented to the ACHA National Champions.

Barring a computer glitch in the rankings, the ASU Sun Devils should create another first by entering the National Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

But the focus for ASU is much more miniscule — one that hasn’t waivered since week one.

“The focus needs to be ‘stay the course,’” Powers said. “We have focused on our game and our team all year, not worrying about who we are playing, and that approach has worked.”

While the National Tournament is still nearly a month away, the Devils concentration cannot yet be turned to Delaware without eliminating a memory lingering in the back of their minds.

For one week, the mindset of the Sun Devils may be tweaked to one of hostility.

Between Senior Night and their 37-game winning streak being ruined, the Devils travel to Tucson in search of redemption.

“They are important,” Powers said. “Any game versus UA is important … I think our guys will go into Tucson very focused.”

Nothing is lost or gained in the two-game series.

The announcement of who makes the National Tournament comes on Monday, Feb. 17, four days prior to the rivalry.

The two games are nothing more than bragging rights, revenge and a daunting thought in the back of the mind until next season.

Will a new streak be born, or will the Wildcats play spoiler to the No. 1 seed entering the tournament?

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