RECAP: Strong Special Teams Helps ASU Defeat Missouri State
By John Mendoza // Hockey Reporter for Blaze Sports
The Arizona State Sun Devils relinquished a two-goal lead in the third period on Saturday and the Missouri State Bears had all the momentum going into the final minutes of play.
Then Jake Savona happened.
With just 10 seconds left on the clock, the Sun Devil forward snapped a shot from the right circle on a loose puck for the game-winning goal in the Sun Devils 5-4 win over the Bears.
“We preach urgency,” head coach Jashua Brown said when talking about Savona’s goal. “We want to win races to pucks and get pucks to the net in traffic. Jake had a nice shot and it happened to go in.”
Special teams played a big part in the Devils’ victory as they scored on their first three attempts on the power play and finished 3 for 5 on the night.
“[The power play] is huge for us,” Brown said. “Our power play hasn’t really clicked this year until tonight — we expect our power play to gain us momentum and it definitely did that tonight.”
Austin Ehrlich “led by example” in the words of coach Brown, and had two of the three power play goals for the Sun Devils. He opened the scoring for the Sun Devils with a goal at 6:34 of the first period and gave the Devils a 3-1 lead with a goal at 5:45 of the second period.
The other power play goal came from Jagr Larson at 7:51 in the first period.
The Sun Devils power play goals would be partially negated by their penalty kill which allowed three goals of their own. This includes the game tying goal scored by Alex Turin at 13:40 of the third period on a roughing penalty to Jagr Larson.
Both teams would finish with five penalties for 10 minutes. The Sun Devils finished 3 for 5 on the penalty kill while the Bears finished 2 for 5
The Sun Devils would be outshot by the Bears 41-29 but Jack Burkel came away with 37 saves for the Sun Devils.
The win improves the Sun Devils’ record to 5-4 and the Bears record dropped to 7-6. The teams will meet again tomorrow for a rematch at Oceanside Ice Arena at 7:00pm.
John Mendoza is a beat writer for ACHA Hockey for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow John on Twitter @JohnVMendoza.