Burkel Shines Despite 4-2 Loss to Colorado

By Marty LaFica // ACHA Hockey Writer for Blaze Sports

CHANDLER, AZ     On Friday night, the Arizona State University ACHA Division I hockey team suffered a 4-2 loss to the University of Colorado. The loss was highlighted by a lack of defensive success from the Sun Devils in a game where they allowed 48 shots on goal.

Photo: John Mendoza / Blaze Sports

Unlike the rest of the game, the first period was marked by a low volume of shots and sloppy offensive play that some may argue was due to the absence of the Sun Devils leading goal scorer Jake Savona.

While ASU attempted to clean up their carelessness with the puck it was the Buffaloes who got on the board first.

After a misplay from Arizona State’s Alec Guarnero in the neutral zone, Andrew Bradford jumped on the puck and led a 2-on 1- into the offensive zone before delivering a cross ice pass right to Conor Sullivan, who put the puck in the back of the net.

After going on the power play due to a high stick from Colorado’s George Gruber, the Sun Devils were able to quickly respond with 15:16 remaining in the period.

Freshman defenseman Colton Rhodes jumped on a rebound and backhanded the puck into the top corner to tie the game.

Entering the second period, both team’s offenses started to heat up and the shot totals started to rise rapidly. Just under eight minutes into the period, Jagr Larson put the Sun Devils up 2-1 by scoring his eighth goal of the year.

With 4:09 left to go in the period Arizona State’s Ben Mack and Colorado’s John Dora got into a small fight at center ice, with Mack getting a 5-minute major penalty, along with a game misconduct.

This proved to be very costly for the Devils as they never looked the same without the help from their starting defenseman.

Shortly after the scuffle, Thomas Jarman for Colorado entered the offensive zone and slipped a quick wrist shot into the bottom right corner past Burkel making the score 2-2 to end the second period.

Arizona State goaltender Jack Burkel prepares for the start of the period against Arizona // (Photo: John Mendoza / Blaze Sports)

The third period was dominated by Colorado’s offensive power and ability to get a high volume of shots on goal.

The Buffaloes had 20 shots on goal it was tough for the Sun Devils to get anything going offensively. Despite countless efforts from goaltender Jack Burkel to keep the puck out of the net, Colorado’s Matt Anders scored on the power play with 10:49 left, making the score 3-2.

Shortly after the Anders goal, it was the Buffaloes again who put the puck in the net making the score 4-2.

Despite a few last ditch shots with Burkel pulled, Arizona State could not keep the puck out of their own end and watched as Colorado easily coasted to a 4-2 victory.

Although it was a tough loss for the Sun Devils, freshman goaltender Jack Burkel had a strong night in the net, making 44 saves on 48 shots with a save percentage of .917.

“Jack was our best player tonight, said head coach Josh Brown. “He had close to 50 shots against him and I’m very proud of Jack’s effort.”

With this loss the Sun Devils fall to 6-11 on the season. Tomorrow both Arizona State and Colorado face off again in what will be their third and final regular season matchup.

Marty LaFica is an ACHA Hockey writer for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at mlafica@asu.edu and follow Marty on Twitter @TheMartyLaFica.


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