The Sun Devils visited the 19th ranked Air Force Academy Falcons this weekend. Although the Devils fought valiantly, even the smallest stretches of lazy play found the Falcons capitalizing on opportunities.
In the first game, Air Force opened up the scoring just 2:18 into the first on the Power Play as Ben Kucera slipped one past Joey Daccord to make it one to nothing. It would be almost 14 minutes until the next goal would be scored.
That goal was notched by Kyle Haak, capitalizing on a loose puck. The Devils struck back not long after as Anthony Croston finished off a feed from Dylan Hollman.
Just before the halfway point in the second, Air Force extended their lead to 2 when Erik Baskin put another past Daccord. Air Force wasn’t finished as Dylan Abood took advantage of another brilliant feed from Even Giesler, who assisted on Baskin’s goal.
Down 4-1 entering the third, the Sun Devils weren’t about to skate off without putting up a fight.
While on the Power Play, freshman Jacob Wilson capitalized on a pass from Tyler Busch. Freshman Johnny Walker also figured in on the goal by way of a secondary assist.
With just over six and a half minutes left in the third, Tyler Busch found the net for his second point of the night (1-1-2) assisted by Raats and Gruber. While fighting hard until the end, even with the goalie pulled, ASU couldn’t tie the game and fell to Air Force 4-3.
The second game the following day was fairly similar.
The scoring started even earlier into the first period this time, as on an Air Force Power Play Baskin completed a move started by Tyler Ledford & Even Giesler, Giesler collecting his third assist on the weekend.
Jake Clifford finished off a feed from Jack Rowe and Joe Lappin as the 4th line got in on the action for ASU. With just under 30 seconds left to play in the period the ASU fourth liners did it again - this time Jack Rowe benefiting from a pass by Jake Clifford, with both collecting their second points on the night (1-1-2 each).
The Devils took a 2-1 lead, their first lead of the weekend, into the second. Unfortunately, that was all the Devils had left in the tank as Air Force regained a lead they wouldn’t lose thanks to goals by Pierce Pluemer and Matt Koch, Erich Jaeger assisting on both.
The Devils would again lose to Air Force by only one goal after a scoreless third period.
The ASU fourth line shone in the second game, but unfortunately for them received not enough help from the top two lines - help which could have changed the outcome of the game.
Notes from the Inferno:
-After combining for 11 points last weekend vs UMass Amherst, the top line only combined for 2 points this weekend with a goal by Anthony Croston and Dylan Hollman assisting.
-Louie Rowe had a pointless weekend after a monster weekend vs UMass where he tallied 5 points (1-4-5).
-Joey Daccord played both games once again, stopping 34/38 (89.5%) and 29/31 (93.5%) for a combined save percentage of 89.9% on the weekend.
-Air Force goalie Billy Christopoulos had a big weekend, stopping 51 of the Devils 56 shots on goal.
-ASU split their series with Air Force last year, losing 4-3 to the Falcons in game one (where have we seen that before?) and defeating them 5-2 in game two.
The Devils go back at it again facing the University of Nebraska Omaha in Nebraska on Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st before taking on Colgate University in New York.