ASU Hockey: Devils Procure win over Penmen to Complete Series Sweep

After a thrilling 11-0 shutout victory the night before, expectations were high for the Arizona State Hockey team as they looked to complete their second series sweep of the season and first at home this year.

While Southern New Hampshire may only be a Division 3 team, they came out playing like a D1 school Saturday night, providing a tough test for Arizona State following the blowout on Friday.

A long sleeve shirt giveaway capped off the whiteout weekend for Arizona State athletics, a giveaway that once again packed the Inferno and left only standing room at Oceanside Ice Arena.

While they did not get off to a hot start like the night before, the Devils did get on the board first. At the 6:23 mark, Nicholas Gushue fired off a shot on a pass from Riley Simpson that captain Dylan Hollman knocked into the goal for a quick 1-0 lead in favor of ASU.

The goal, however, was not the first action of the game, as Arizona State went on the penalty kill nearly immediately after the start of the game. At 1:34, Liam McGing was called for tripping, however the Sun Devils successfully killed the penalty, the first of four on the night for the team.

The ASU lead as the result of Dylan Hollman’s goal was incredibly short-lived, as just 50 seconds later, as Penmen Junior Griffin Rogers answered right back, giving Southern New Hampshire their first goal of the series and tying the game at one.

After Robbie Baillargeon and Brandon Goudreau suffered injuries last night in a physical contest, the animosity between the two teams heated up on Saturday evening, with both teams playing more aggressively, which shows given the increase in penalties called. While Goudreau did not spend time on the ice, Baillargeon was back and started for the Devils.

Not only was the game more aggressive in general, but the play for the Penmen looked significantly crisper, closing the glaring gap that led to the ASU route the night before.

The game stayed tied through the end of the first period, with Arizona State once again leading in every statistical category, specifically shots (16-6) and faceoffs (15-9).

 

With a penalty being called  on Chris Moquin with 54 seconds to play in the first period, the Sun Devils started the second period on the power play, but were unable to cash in on their first odd-man advantage of the night.

The game did not remain tied for long, as after just four minutes of play, Jack Rowe tucked away his second goal of the season in just his 15th game of the year. Liam McGing was given the assist just a night removed from a 3-assist game, bringing his season total to 6.

Roughly ten minutes later, with two power plays in between, Arizona State extended their lead to 3-0 on Jakob Stridsberg’s 8th goal of the season, a slapshot assisted from Steenn Pasichnuk.

With a little less than four minutes to go in the second period, a tussle broke out near the crease of ASU’s goal, an exchange that resulted in ASU’s Riley Simpson and SNH’s Joseph Berardi both being given penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. In addition, Jake Clifford was given a 2-minute penalty for roughing, making the Devils down a man for two of the last four minutes of the period. Those four minutes went by uneventful, as Arizona State maintained their 3-1 lead through the first 40 minutes. The Sun Devils once again lead the way in shots with 15, compared to just 4 from the Penmen.

As they entered the final twenty minutes of play, Arizona State looked to increase their lead and put the series finale out of reach, while Southern New Hampshire aimed to climb back and split the series with ASU.

Things did not get off to a good start for ASU, as Wade Murphy was given a tripping penalty 5 minutes in, but like the Devils had been doing all game, they killed it off and maintained a 2-goal advantage.

The game, while played aggressively, was also played evenly, with neither team able to get anything into the net for an extended period of time. Joe Lappin was called for interference with 3 minutes and 50 seconds to go in the game, at which time the Penmen pulled their goalie, giving Southern New Hampshire a 6-on-4.

While SNH outnumbered ASU by 2 players on the ice, they could not capitalize and Arizona State’s special teams continued to shine. Following the end of the Lappin penalty, Southern New Hampshire kept six men on the ice, which led to the dagger in the game, an Anthony Croston empty net goal assisted by  Georgy Gorodetsky.

The clock would then wind down, and with the final horn sounding, the Arizona State Sun Devils completed their second sweep of the season, their first at home, winning by a score of 4-1. With that win, ASU’s record improved to 9-17-2, while SNH’s mark fell to 11-10-0.

Three Stars of the Game:

    1. ASU: Jack Rowe (Sophomore Foward, #11) 1 Goal
    2. ASU: Robert Levin (Senior Goalie, #38) 13 Shots Saved, .929 Save Percentage
    3. SNH: Griffin Rogers (Junior Forward, 18) 1 Goal

    Notes and Numbers

    • The 15-1 goal differential this series is the biggest in program history. The next closest came back when the Sun Devils hosted the Penmen in 2015, a series that saw the Devils outscore Southern New Hampshire 16-3.
    • The Sun Devils continued to set records in this game, this time in shots allowed. While their 50 shots taken was not the most they’ve had in a game this year (they had 60 last night), Robert Levin and ASU kept SNH to 14 shots on goal, 5 less than the previous night, which at the time was a season-best.
    • In the 27 games Arizona State has played this season, the Sun Devils have killed every opposition power play in only eight of those contests, including four successful kills of the SNHU power play in the series opener.
    • Arizona State has not allowed a power play goal in their last 3 games. They’ve killed their last 13 penalties, dating back to the first game in the series against Ohio State. This is the longest stretch of games ASU has gone without allowing a goal while shorthanded, a sign their special teams are improving, even if they did not score a power play goal this series.
    • Robert Levin played in his 12th game of the season, which ties him with Joey Daccord for the team lead in goaltender games played. His record this season is 5-4-2, a significant improvement from 0-7-1 in 10 games last year.
    • Robert Levin is the only goalie to have seen time on the ice for ASU in their last three games. In those three games, he has played 183 minutes and 46 seconds, allowing just 3 goals and saving 54 shots for a save percentage of .947.
    • Southern New Hampshire used all three of their goalies in both games of the series.  Ryan Slatky played 40 minutes and 17 seconds, Matthew MacInnis played 43 minutes and 9 seconds and Kurt Gutting played 34 minutes and 18 seconds in goal. Slatky allowed 7 of the 15 goals over the weekend, while McInnis allowed 2 and Gutting let in 5.
    • Arizona State Hockey is now 7-6-1 when they score first. To provide comparison, they are 2-11-1 when their opponent scores first.

    Moving Forward

    With this series complete, Arizona State will have a bit of a rest before they hit the road for the final two road series of the season, both against ranked teams. The first of the two series will be against #17 Quinnipiac in Hamden, Connecticut. Games will be played on Friday and Saturday, the 27th and 28th of January. Puck drop for both is at 5pm MST. Follow @BadderUpSports, @TheEthanSchmidt and @Devils_Detail for updates!