Early Mistakes cost Sun Devils, drop weekend finale to Penn State
By Will Everett // NCAA Hockey Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
GLENDALE, AZ — Early miscues on defense was the story of the Arizona State NCAA ice hockey team on Saturday night, as they dropped their second game in a row against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
“Such a killer,” said Head Coach Greg Powers. ”We knew tonight we could come back and win that game.”
The Sun Devils got out to an early start as Brett Gruber put one home 1:40 into the first period. But the excitement was short lived, as the Nittany Lions found the back of the net twice (Brandon Biro and Chase Berger) each within a minute and 26 seconds of each other to go ahead 2-1.
The first goal being created by a giveaway from Joey Raats as he passed it blindly in front of the net, giving goalie Joey Daccord no chance at a save. Daccord still made 45 saves in the loss.
ASU then gave up a goal with 47 seconds left in the second period to Derian Hamilton of Penn State. That goal sent them down by two goals going into the third period.
In spite, the Sun Devils gave a final push at the end of the third as Joe Lappin made a spectacular play to escape his defender and find the stick of sophomore Tyler Busch, who capitalized and brought ASU within one. But Penn State added salt to the wound with a final minute empty net goal by Brett Murray to seal the deal and take the series.
“I don’t have a doubt that our guys left everything out on the ice tonight,” said Powers.
The Sun Devils were blown out of Gila River by the Nittany Lions Friday night losing 7-0. This game proved that the Sun Devils were motivated to keep from getting swept, but it simply was not enough.
Powers also mentioned that he ripped into his men after last night’s game and before tonight’s, mentioning that everybody was “very angry”.
ASU will play host to Holy Cross University next weekend at Oceanside Arena for a series and then will travel to New Jersey for a series against Princeton University as it will be their first Ivy League test of the season.
Will Everett is Blaze Radio’s beat writer for the NCAA Hockey team at Arizona State. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Will on Twitter @TheRealWillyEvs.