ASU hockey achieved its seventh sweep of the season with a 2-0 shutout victory over Boston College on Saturday night behind Joey Daccord’s 32-save outing.
“Tonight, Joey Daccord stole that game.”
Those words from head coach Greg Powers is what truly defined the outcome for the Sun Devils as they completed their seventh weekend series sweep.
ASU’s star junior goaltender locked in early and remained razor-sharp for the full 60 minutes played on the ice of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday night. Daccord sealed the deal on his NCAA-leading sixth shutout of the season.
“I think it’s a team stat,” Daccord said humbly postgame. “I just get the number next to my name.”
The Sun Devils were outshot 14-3 in the first period. But as the shot total climbed for Boston College (6-9-2), the North Andover, Massachusetts native locked in that much more and denied all of the 32 shots he faced from the Eagles.
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“BC was my dream school growing up, so it’s pretty special to beat them,” Daccord said.
With Daccord dominating the game, the Sun Devils were able to improve their offensive attack in the second period. Then, the scoreless tie was finally broken halfway through the middle frame.
ASU co-captain Brinson Pasichnuk tried a shot toward Eagles netminder Joe Woll that went wide. But sophomore Johnny Walker followed after it behind the net and chipped a back-hand pass right in front where junior Brett Gruber made no mistake in burying the puck for his fifth goal of the season.
“Anytime you start a game, you just want to try to give your team a chance to get into it,” Daccord said. “My job is to just try to get us through to that point where we find our legs, and we found them tonight.”
However, it was the Sun Devils’ success on the penalty kill that fed their energy and drive headed into the final period of play. ASU killed off all six of Boston College’s power-play opportunities on Saturday night with much credit to Daccord, but also the team’s ability to block shots.
“Our guys really sold out to eat pucks tonight,” Powers said. “We’ve used our kill to get us momentum all year, and it did it this weekend.”
Power plays seemed easy to come by for both squads in the second game of the series as ASU received six of its own. And the Sun Devils eventually capitalized.
Freshman PJ Marrocco fired the puck toward Woll and he let up a rebound right in front of the crease. Then, junior Steenn Pasichnuk, utilizing his big frame, handled the loose change and passed it off to freshman Jordan Sandhu.
Sandhu had a wide-open look and found the back of the twine for the power-play goal with 12:33 to go in the game. Adding to the cushion, it was all ASU needed to prevail.
“It just so happened that it landed right in front of me, and I just kind of held the guy off and saw Sandhu was wide open and gave him the puck, and he made a great play to put it in,” Steen Pasichnuk said.
Boston College pulled Woll for the extra attacker late in the third. Daccord attempted a shot all the way down the ice for a possible empty-net goal to highlight his night even more, but it just missed to the left.
Nonetheless, Daccord and ASU finished out the evening without a dent on the scoreboard, improving to 16-7-1 in what has been a historic season.
“We played our game the way we need to play to be successful,” Powers said. “I really liked how our team closed it out.”
Powers further touched on the dominance of Daccord after the game.
“It’s everything,” Powers said. “It’s one of the huge key components we’ve been missing up until this year because we were new and he was gaining that experience to be able to play like he is now.”
The Sun Devils are now tied for the most wins in NCAA Division I hockey next to only Minnesota State, who they technically tied and morally beat in a shootout just last Saturday.
Up next for ASU is a road trip to Ithaca, New York, where it will face No. 20 Cornell for a two-game series. It will kick off the Sun Devils’ final stretch of four out of their last five series away from home.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.