ASU hockey opened their three-week home stand falling to UMass Lowell 4-0 in the series opener Friday dropping the Sun Devils’ record to 6-13-4.
The Arizona State Sun Devils hockey team (6-13-4) fell to UMass Lowell at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe Friday night. The River Hawks scored twice in the second and third periods, downing the Sun Devils by a score of 4-0. It was ASU’s sixth shutout loss of the season.
ASU outshot UMass Lowell in the first period, but a lackluster second frame resulted in a 2-0 River Hawks lead after 40 minutes. Mattias Goransson and Chris Schutz scored for UMass Lowell in a period where the River Hawks outshot the Sun Devils 16-5.
The Sun Devils had an unusually high number of power play opportunities Friday night, but came up empty each time. They weren’t able to generate many scoring chances and finished the night 0-of-6 on the man advantage.
“Our plan was to get shots through but it just wasn’t happening for us tonight,” ASU freshman defenseman Max Balinson said.
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“When you have that many chances, you’ve got to get one,” junior forward Louie Rowe said. “We just have to find a way to get more shots and get more offense going.
Alternatively, ASU’s penalty kill was perfect, albeit only taking one penalty throughout the entirety of the game. Although they conceded four goals, the Sun Devils on-ice discipline was impressive.
“The discipline was really good,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “That’s a huge metric of ours and to play against a team like [UMass Lowell] we’re going to have to be disciplined and not give them too many opportunities on the power play.”
The Sun Devils showed some fight in the final frame, keeping pace with the River Hawks in shot and faceoff totals. However, a massive blunder by ASU goaltender Joey Daccord proved to be costly for the Sun Devils.
“I thought we played pretty well in the third,” Powers said. “The third goal was a backbreaker and it just can’t happen.”
The sophomore goaltender came out of his crease to play the puck in the corner, but passed it directly to UMass Lowell’s Kenny Hausinger. Hausinger fired his first shot off the post, but quickly got his own rebound and buried the puck into the virtually open net. Hausinger added a fourth River Hawk tally just three minutes later for his second goal of the game.
Despite allowing four goals, Daccord had a decent night in net for the Sun Devils. He made 31 saves and denied the River Hawks on multiple breakaway chances. He also made several flashy glove saves.
The Sun Devils look to bounce back against the River Hawks on Saturday at Oceanside Ice Arena. ASU has proven to be a “Saturday team”, as they have frequently performed well this season in Saturday games after losing on Friday. Furthermore, they have not lost consecutive games on their home ice so far this season.
“We don’t lose two in a row at home,” Balinson said. “I think once we get our feet moving tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be ready to go off the hop.”
ASU will host UMass Lowell at 7:05 p.m. MT in front of, what is expected to be, another sellout crowd at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.