This weekend, the Arizona State Sun Devils faced off against the historic Eastern Conference powerhouse, Quinnipiac at Oceanside and Gila River Arena.
The first game was a rare occasion where the Sun Devils didn’t lose on a Friday night.
The team came out hard and played well. It was arguably one of their best first periods of the season, definitely of any Friday night at home.
Unfortunately, the Devils couldn’t sneak one by Petruzzelli, the Bobcats net-minder and former teammate of Joey Daccord.
Here’s where the theme of the weekend began to brew.
Early in the second, with the Devils on a power play, a miscommunication at the blue line led to a short-handed breakaway for Kevin Duane of Quinnipiac, who put it five-hole on Daccord.
Then the Devils started pushing, frustrated with nothing going into the net for them. Wave upon wave, change after change, the Bobcats were hemmed in their own zone, until finally, the Devils drew a penalty.
To the power play, they went and that power play was almost wasted. In the waning seconds of the power play, Jacob Wilson dished a pass to Johnny Walker on the breakout, who then went five-hole on Petruzzelli after some nifty dangles.
The Sun Devils kept coming and it eventually paid off when, late in the period, the Pasichnuk brothers connected off the rush, Steenn being the benefactor.
After emerging from the second with a 2-1 lead, the Devils came out with a sloppy start to the third, almost giving up another short-handed goal.
As the period went on, both teams got chances and power plays. Quinnipiac cashed in on one of those power plays to tie the game.
Not long after that Quinnipiac scored yet again to take the 3-2 lead. Not for long as Coach Powers challenged for goaltender interference.
after a lengthy video review NO GOAL! Still 2-2 SEE FOR YOURSELF! pic.twitter.com/Cho0JhStsx— Ice Time Hockey SW (@icetimesw) January 20, 2018
As you can see, Daccord was bumped into, preventing him from making the save.
The game remained a 2-2 tie through the end of the third period and 5-on-5 overtime.
To 3-on-3 we go! (The format the NCAA should go with for all overtime by the way).
It took most of the time in 3-on-3 with Quinnipiac getting good chances, but Louie Rowe, who has reawakened in recent games, buried a clapper to take the “Victory.” I put “victory” in quotes because the NCAA has some system that’s called a “tie” after an insufficient 5-on-5 OT.
The second game did not go quite as well.
With an early power play, Quinnipiac struck first and controlled play for a majority of the first period. Daccord made the saves to keep them in it.
Then there was the wild second period. Quinnipiac added another, but the Devils responded quickly, Anthony Croston picking up the rebound,
The Sun Devils then got called for two more penalties, leading to two more power play goals for the Bobcats.
Good news! After the second Q’Pac PP goal, the Devils responded quickly to cut the lead to two!
Here’s Dominic Garcia’s first collegiality goal, sending it to the back of the twine with authority.
To be a total buzzkill for Dom, the Bobcats responded just eight seconds later to put up a five-spot on the Devils.
After an uneventful 14 minutes in the third, Max Balinson scored his second of the season on a nice pass from the “Gold Label,” Johnny Walker.
Unfortunately, that was all the Sun Devils had left in the tank, as they were handed a rare Saturday night home game loss of 5-3.
Notes from the Inferno:
-With a loss and a tie this weekend, the Devils are now 7-14-5 on the season.
-Brinson Pasichnuk continues his torrid pace, adding 2 more points, giving him 9 points in the last 6 games.
-Johnny Walker and Jacob Wilson had solid weekends posting 2 points (1-1-2) and 3 points (0-3-3), respectively.
-Joey Daccord stopped 26 of 28 (.928 SVS%) shots Friday night and 25 of 30 (.833 SVS%) on Saturday night. Saturday was only the second time he’s been replaced in net this season.
-Daccord now has a season save percentage of .903%. Prior to this weekend, it stood at .913%. Those numbers are still remarkable for a collegiate goaltender.
The Sun Devils will return to Gila River Arena Friday night to take on Clayton Keller’s Alma Mater, Boston University.
Their Saturday game at Oceanside vs BU will be their last home game of the season and is sold out.