ASU hockey picked up their first home shutout win of the season defeating UMass Lowell 4-0 and splitting the two-game series with the River Hawks.
On Saturday night, Arizona State dismantled UMass-Lowell to the tune of a 4-0 shutout victory.
The Sun Devils (7-13-4) outplayed the visiting River Hawks in all aspects of the game. The offense produced, the defense harassed, and the special teams stepped up.
After the game, coach Greg Powers told the media, “It was [a] great effort. I think that’s the best 60-minute effort we’ve had since playing Division 1 hockey.”
The main storyline of the game was sophomore goalie Joey Daccord’s first career shutout. He finished the night with 28 saves, including a couple of highlight reel stops.
When asked to comment on his goalie’s performance, Powers said, “It’s a special moment for him. He earned it, he deserved it. Our guys really earned it as a team.”
The key phrase in that statement is “as a team.” Saturday was one of the few nights all season when the team didn’t rely on Daccord to carry them and keep the game competitive.
Arizona State almost had another notable achievement for one of their young players, as freshman winger Johnny Walker nearly completed a hat trick.
Walker scored his first goal of the night on a backhand after being set up for a breakaway by linemate Dominic Garcia. His second came on a 3-on-1 opportunity, where he smoothly transitioned from a toe drag into another backhanded goal.
Walker saw a golden opportunity after a skied pass led to another breakaway opportunity; however, he couldn’t quite get a good shot off after some botched stick handling.
All of his chances came in a dominant second period for the Sun Devils.
Nonetheless, Walker’s two goals are no easy feat against one of the nation’s top goaltenders. After all, UMass-Lowell’s goalie, Chris Hernberg, came into the game with a 12-3 record, a 1.89 goals against average, and a .929 save percentage.
The other players to score for the Sun Devils were Joey Raats, who scored the first goal, and Tyler Busch.
The Raats goal was crucial because it came shortly after a penalty kill and with less than a minute left in the first period. The momentum from the goal led to a three-goal second period for ASU.
Tyler Busch’s goal came 22 seconds into a power play that came from a Nick Master tripping call. The slap shot from the point found its way through the crowd with 45 seconds left in the second period.
Of course, this game wasn’t only won on offense, as the Sun Devils played 60 minutes of aggressive defense to keep the River Hawks out of sync and frustrated.
As a team, the Sun Devils blocked a total of 22 shots. The block totals exemplify the desperation and tenacity that the team played with all night after a frustrating 4-0 defeat on Friday.
“The [defense], especially the forwards too, did an unbelievable job blocking shots,” Daccord said. “I think that was one of our lowest shot totals against all year.”
Daccord went on to mention how his teammates were “selling out” in order to complete the shutout, which was even more impressive because they led by four goals.
Next week, the team will hope to continue their hot start to 2018 with another challenging opponent in the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.