This weekend in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Arizona State Sun Devils were set to take on the Holy Cross Crusaders on Thanksgiving and Territorial Cup weekend.
The Sun Devils came out of the weekend with the best record coming out of a series this season, winning one game and tying the other. Their win on Friday marked the first time Holy Cross had lost a game on home ice this season.
That game started out with no goals in the first period of play, however, the Crusaders had three power-play opportunities and the Devils killed off all three of them.
Early in the second period Crusaders’ defenseman Tommy Muratore took a tripping penalty to send the Devils to their first, and last power play of the night.
Like so many times before, the struggling Sun Devil power play failed to capitalize. Not long after the penalty expired, Holy Cross, on the counter-attack, got a shot on Daccord, whose rebound was punched in.
Just past halfway through the second, Louie Rowe delivered a huge, open-ice hit. Rowe received 5 minutes for “contact to the head” and a 10-minute game misconduct, leaving the Devils to kill a major penalty already down one.
They persevered and killed every second of it.
Holy Cross’s one-goal lead would last most of the period until Freshman Johnny Walker tipped in a shot from his roommate and fellow freshman, Jacob Wilson, to tie the game at one going into the second intermission.
The Devils wasted no time at the start of the third getting another deflection off of a Jacob Wilson shot, this time it was senior David Norris as the beneficiary.
Not long after that Tyler Busch, who assisted on the Devil’s second goal, picked up his second point of the night as he was left alone in the slot to bury a one-time pass from David Norris.
Later on, in the third Tyler Busch took a hooking penalty, but Holy Cross couldn’t capitalize. Even with their goalie pulled, Joey Daccord stood tall as the Devils deliver Holy Cross their first home loss of the season.
Happy with the effort in the previous game, Coach Powers kept the lines the same from Friday night, a rarity.
Unfortunately, the night didn’t start out so well as just nine seconds in, Mitch Collet slipped through the Arizona State defense and opened up the scoring.
Johnny Walker then extending his goal-scoring streak to three games after a masterful snipe tying the game at one. That makes two games in a row Walker has tied the game not long after the other team scored.
Two early goals were apparently enough to hold both teams over until the first intermission, as Holy Cross wasted one power play and ASU wasted two of their own.
In the second, Holy Cross added two more goals to take a 3-1 lead on the Devils.
However, ASU dominated the second half of the period. Brinson Pasichnuk gave himself a birthday present, firing a clapper through the Crusaders goaltender Berrafato, to draw the game to within one.
The Sun Devils weren't done yet as Brett Gruber scored his second goal in three games to tie the game.
The celebration didn’t last long as Jacob Wilson was given a 5-minute major and a 10- minute game misconduct for a “face mask”. Jack Rowe and Scott Pooley received a matching minor.
The teams played 2 minutes of 4-on-4 before the Devils killed off the rest major penalty in the third period.
The two teams continued to battle, but overtime would be required. For the third time already this season, the Sun Devils ended in a tie, something they tend to do only in games twos.
Why they still use ties in the NCAA is beyond me. I’d even prefer a shootout over a tie for goodness sake.
Notes from the Inferno:
-Freshman Johnny Walker has scored three goals in his last three games and has 4 (3-1-4) points over that time.
-Tyler Busch had a solid weekend notching 3 (1-2-3) points in the two games. Hopefully a sign of him regaining his scoring touch.
-Goalie Joey Daccord faced a total of 69 shots stopping 65 of them, good for a 94.2% save percentage for the outing.
-This was the first time these two programs have met in ASU’s brief NCAA history.
-The captains, Dylan Hollman, Anthony Croston and Louie Rowe continue to be held off the score sheet, but have played meaningful minutes on the PK and have been a good energy line.
-The Garcia-Gruber-Walker line continues to heat up tallying 8 points in their last 3 games.
-The Devils return home after a brief road trip to take on the Princeton Tigers (2-7-3) at Oceanside Ice Arena, Friday (12/8) and Saturday (12/9). Puck drops at 7:05 both nights.
A good way to celebrate the end of the semester!