ASU hockey (16-7-1) is ranked No. 13 in the nation behind strong upperclassmen leadership and impressive freshman play.
Captain defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk and goaltender Joey Daccord are among those who have embraced leadership roles.
Pasichnuk has 19 points and will look to break career highs in both assists and goals by the end of this season.
“Brinson is our best player, besides our goalie obviously,” said head coach Greg Powers. “He embodies everything that we want a Sun Devil hockey player to be.”
Pasichnuk, a junior, was awarded student athlete of the month for all of ASU athletics in December.
“He’s (Pasichnuk) completely revamped the culture of our program as our captain,” Powers said.
ASU’s younger players took notice and have gotten behind the captain.
“Being led by a kid like Brinson (Pasichnuk) has advanced them exponentially faster than I think we ever could have imagined,” Powers said.
The goaltender has also sparked the team, leading the Sun Devils towards tournament territory.
Daccord, also a junior, has maintained a .933 save percentage this season over 24 games. He has been crucial for Arizona State all year making ridiculous saves behind a 2.08 goals allowed average.
It is safe to say that the goalie is ready for the final stretch.
“We know that the pressure is on and now it’s go time,” Daccord said. “We’ve just got to take it one game at a time. For us, I think if we just focus on the next game, the next shift, the next period or whatever it may be, that’s the way we can stay focused on the task at hand.”
Nobody may be more focused than Daccord himself.
“His focus and his ability to stay locked in, he’s developed that,” Powers said. “His brain is caught up with his physical ability and he’s just unbelievable.”
Senior forward Jake Clifford is also among the list of leaders on this talented Arizona State roster.
“It’s just crazy how much time flies. The freshman and sophomores have made it very easy and have been a great asset to our team since the moment they stepped on campus,” Clifford said.
Clifford has been through many changes during his time as a Sun Devil, moving from the defenseman position to forward after the team loaded up on talented defensive players.
“That’s what happens in life. You find yourself in a scenario where you have to adapt and make some changes. Hopefully it works out for the better,” Clifford said. “We’re all here for the same reason, to win games.”
ASU will need that leadership during an eight game road trip that begins this weekend as they take the ice next against No. 20 Cornell on Friday and Saturday.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.