ASU Hockey: Walker-less Devils fall twice in Minnesota

No. 12 Arizona State hockey (21-12-1) took the ice against Minnesota (16-15-4) on the road Friday evening without its star player, sophomore forward Johnny Walker, losing 5-1.

Sparky would go without Walker again on Saturday, a game in which the Golden Gophers dominated throughout, winning 5-2.

In the first game, strong play from junior goaltender Joey Daccord kept the Sun Devils in the game for the first two periods, yet a penalty kill-plagued third period proved to be too much for ASU to handle.

In the beginning stages of the contest, ASU looked ready to play.

Senior forward Jake Clifford scored as the clock neared four minutes off a dime from sophomore forward Dominic Garcia, a play that was facilitated by the captain Brinson Pasichnuk.

The goaltender Daccord was impressive throughout, notching 37 saves in total.

Yet, a goal by Gopher forward Sammy Walker with four minutes remaining in the first period was enough to get Minnesota rolling, tying the game 1-1.

Daccord continued his heroics late into the second up until freshman forward Blake McLaughlin found the net to increase the lead by a score.

From that point on, the Sun Devils faced an onslaught of penalties and were not able to establish an offensive attack, losing 5-1 in frustrating fashion.

“I’m embarrassed by the lack of effort and discipline,” said head coach Greg Powers. “I know our players have it in them to represent ASU much better than we did tonight.”

Arizona State would come in Saturday looking for the split, but would be defeated once again by a Minnesota squad that is red-hot.

The Golden Gophers scored three goals in the first frame, matching the amount of goals they put together in the third period a night prior.

They did not stop there as Minnesota won 5-2.

Despite losing both contests, ASU’s tournament chances are still very likely as the team put together the best season in school history.

The Sun Devils will find out if they have been selected for the tournament on March 24.

All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.