ASU Hockey: Devils fight until end, fall short in first ever NCAA Tournament

No. 14 ASU hockey (21-13-1) ended the most historic season in program history against Quinnipiac (26-9-2) in Allentown similarly to how the Sun Devils played all season.

ASU never gave up.

Down two goals to none in the third period, captain defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk went top shelf, giving the Devils hope down the stretch.

That effort from the captain would not be enough as ASU fell to the Bobcats 2-1.

In the first period of action, Quinnipiac wasted no time on the attack getting shots off early and often against Hobey Baker Award nominee goalie Joey Daccord.

That would continue throughout the contest, with the Bobcats outshooting the Devils 38-21.

This came as no surprise for head coach Greg Powers, who mentioned his respect for Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold before tonight’s matchup.

“All over their structure is incredible,” Powers said. “He (Pecknold) has gone over and above to be very good to me and our program. He started with very similar surroundings that we have here”.

That incredible structure served the Bobcats well as they out-skated ASU for much of the first and second periods, dominating in shots.

Two of those shots would go in, the first coming with just four minutes off the clock in the first period from the stick of defenseman Joe O’Connor.

The second period featured a score from forward William Fällström seven minutes in.

The Sun Devils would not be able to get anything going on offense or during power play opportunities during the first two periods of play.

That would not hold true in the third, as ASU relied on its goalie to keep them in it.

The future Ottawa Senator, Daccord, showed why he is one of premiere goaltenders in the country with 36 saves.

That outstanding play between the pipes would not get ASU to the next round but the Sun Devils proved much as to why they belonged among hockey’s elite in the NCAA Tournament.

In a year that contained two Hobey Baker award nominees in Daccord and sophomore forward Johnny Walker (the nation’s leader in goals with 23), the first NCAA Tournament appearance in its forth year as a D-I program and hard work and dedication, Arizona State took an immeasurable step forward this season.

“I don’t think there’s one kid in that locker room that doesn’t believe that we can be National Champions,” Walker said prior to tonight’s game.

The Sun Devils will look to move forward next October after a tremendous season on the ice.

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