Devils Make USA University Team
No award, trophy or amount of money could replace the honor of representing your nations colors.
Five Sun Devil hockey players will find that out first hand, as they were selected to the U.S. National University Team.
Over the 30-year history of the hockey program, only three Sun Devils have ever been selected to the USA University team, with one being current assistant coach Adam Blossey.
“The main thing that I’ve passed on to the guys that have asked about the games is that not only is the experience a lot of fun, (but) it’s a special moment in their lives that they’ll remember forever,” Blossey said of his experience. “We’ve talked about hte Olympic sheet, and how the bigger sheet will fit their style of play particularly well. They should expect a high level of competition across the board, and really try to enjoy this unique opportunity that they’ve been given to compete against the very best players from these other countries.”
Senior forwards Danny McAuliffe and Brian McGinty, freshman forward Sean Murphy, sophomore defenseman Jordan Young and freshman defenseman Alex Temby will now join that short list, with freshman defenseman Drew Newmeyer currently an alternate.
“Honestly, it’s an honor,” McGinty said of his selection. “Anytime you can represent your country, it’s pretty cool. It’s something going into this year that I set a goal for myself.”
The Maroon and Gold represent nearly a quarter of this year’s team, as 22 ACHA collegiate athletes were selected.
McAuliffe says it’s a highlight of his college career.
“I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out my college career,” he said. “… This tops them all for sure. We’re wearing the USA jersey and we’re representing our country. That means a lot to us.”
As freshmen, it’s that much more of an honor for Temby and Murphy.
“It feels pretty special to come in as a freshman and even be considered for the team,” Murphy said.
Temby is humbled.
“It’s a huge honor to be representing Team USA and Arizona State University,” said Temby. “I owe it to the team, teammates and coaching staff … it’s a big honor.”
Temby and Young will have that much more of an upper hand going into the tournament, as they’ve been linemates this season.
“It’s going to be awesome because we’ll already have an advantage going into it with some chemistry,” Young said.
While the rest of their teammates are overjoyed for them, the date of the tournament will keep them out of a key matchup.
Team USA plays an exhibition match on Dec. 8 in Italy before the tournament begins on Dec. 10.
ASU plays its rival UA with the 34-game winning streak on the line in Tucson on Dec. 6-7.
Powers says his team isn’t fazed and has done without key players already this season.
“I’m not worried about it at all,” he said. “I have the utmost confidence in our depth, and we have some pretty darn good Canadians on our roster that will be in Tucson wearing the Maroon and Gold that weekend.
“Our guys will be extra focused on taking care of business that weekend being short-handed, just like vs. Delaware.”
Not to mention UA head coach Sean Hogan will be in Italy with the five Devils, as he was selected as an assistant coach.
Nonetheless, Powers is honored as a coach to have so many of his players represent their country on the ice.
“It’s very special for our program and I’m so proud of each of those guys,” he said.