ASU Sun Devils Sweep Illinois

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Sun Devils Win Two Vs Illinois —  

The Sun Devils took another step in proving they’re the team to beat in the ACHA.

Their two-game road series against No. 7 Illinois (5-3-1) would be the Sun Devils first test of the season.

Like every game thus far, it proved to be nothing more than a score-a-thon for ASU.

In the two games, the Sun Devils outscored the Illini 14-1, while outshooting them 62-45.

“We are very deep and dangerous in a variety of ways,” coach Greg Powers said. “On Friday, we really got out ahead, from staying disciplined to executing on our power play. On Saturday, we only had one power play and all six goals were 5-on-5 so that is a good sign.”

The Sun Devils have converted on 44 percent of their power plays this season.

Friday, the Devils tallied three power-play goals.

While senior forward Kale Dolinski did not score one of them, he did account for six points. His two goals and four assists on Friday — along with his solo goal on Saturday — increased his average to three points per game.

Dolinski is also now second in the ACHA in points and third in assists.

“Our top line of Kale, Liam (Norris) and Mac (Danny McAuliffe) are proving why they are the best line in the country,” Powers said.

The three accounted for five of the eight goals on Friday and three of the six on Saturday. They had eighteen points through the two games as well.

The third line of freshman Patrick Yudez and Chris Burkemper along with senior Brian McGinty is also proving to pay dividends for the Devils.

They totaled seven points on the weekend.

“I really like how McGinty looks between Yudez and Burkemper,” Powers said.

Powers said he’s still attempting to figure out his lines, but isn’t worried about how it will play out.

One other position he doesn’t need to worry about is who’s standing in the crease.

Both Joe D’Elia (3-0) and Robert Levin (4-0) left Illinois perfect, with Levin recording his third-straight shutout on Friday.

The freshman goaltender shutdown all 22 Illini shots, while D’Elia matched him, saving 22 of 23 shots on net.

“It feels great because we actually have three (goalies),” Powers said. “I haven’t forgotten about Lucas (Felbel) either — he’s a great goalie.

“Joe and Rob are just doing a tremendous job for us and it’s great to see. They support each other so well and that makes my life easy as a coach knowing they want a ‘W’ as badly as when the other one is in the net … they are both incredible team guys and I couldn’t be happier with that position.”

The two both now rank in the top four in the ACHA in goals against average — Levin with 0.28 (2nd) and D’Elia with 1.00 (t-4th).

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