This weekend the Arizona State Sun Devils visited the historic Ivy League school, Yale University.
Although the Sun Devils did not win either game, they fared well against the most historic NCAA hockey program in the country.
Early in the game, Yale took two penalties, giving the Sun Devils two separate 5-on-4 man advantages. They did not cash in on either one, but allowed some short-handed opportunities. Something they’ve been struggling with all season.
Then came the penalty parade: Interference, Holding, Roughing, and even “Handling Puck with Hands,” before the puck had even dropped.
The Sun Devils’ strong penalty kill held fast and they escaped the period with a 1-0 lead.
After killing two more minor penalties at the start of the period. Goaltender Joey Daccord was under siege for what seemed like an eternity.
As the Yale offense continued to pressure, the defense broke down and turned it over to Yale forward JM Piotrowski who stuffed it past Daccord.
After more struggles on the power play, freshman Dominic Garcia broke the tie on a feed from Anthony Crostom to put the Sun Devils up by one.
The third did not start well as the Devils gave up a goal, but it was overturned for goaltender interference.
Unfortunately, Yale would not go away quietly scoring not long after to tie the game on another turnover.
While both teams had third period power play time, neither scored and overtime was required.
Just at the halfway mark of overtime, Joe Snively, Yale’s leading scorer, finished off a 2-on-1 to win the game.
The second game had a similar script and an all too similar ending.
Daccord began the game sharp, but a rebound with 5:38 left in the third put Yale up 1-0.
Not long after that, Max Balinson, who has been playing extremely well as of late, fired a blast that went off a defender’s skate and into the net. Both clubs would go to the dressing room tied.
That score would remain the same through a slow second period with relatively few chances, including Daccord stuffing multiple 2-on-1’s.
Early on in the third, Yale on the power play, the Bulldogs regained the lead with just six seconds left on the power play.
Just after that, Givido Jansons was assessed a minor for holding, putting the Devils, again, on the penalty kill.
This time Brinson Pasichnuk taps in the puck on a short-handed opportunity, once again tying the game.
Just under ten minutes remaining in the game, Brian Matthews shoots a puck right after the face-off beating Daccord, and again, regaining the lead.
Fear not, “The Gold Label,” Johnny Walker tied the game and breaking the record for most goals by a freshman in program history!
The Sun Devils were given chances to win in regulation, but their power play just can’t seem to start clicking for them, so to overtime they went.
Just like the last game, a two man rush just about halfway through overtime, sinks the ship and Yale walked away with two more wins, and the Sun Devils, no point from either effort.
Those kinds of games hurt the most.
Notes From the Inferno:
-Both Steenn Pasichnuk and Max Balison posted 2 point weekends, 2 points (0-2-2 and 1-1-2) each.
-As stated above, freshman forward Johnny Walker broke the record for most goals by a freshman in program history, continuing his torrid pace of 16 points (10-6-16) in 28 games, a pace of 0.57 points per game.
-Joey Daccord had a great weekend stopping 40 of 43 (93%) shots in game 1 and 48 of 52 (92.3%) in game 2.
-Yale’s leading scorer Joe Snively was held to 1 point on the weekend (1-0-1).
The Sun Devils face Michigan Tech again after beating them in the Ice Vegas Invitational championship game on 2/16 (Friday) and 2/17 (Saturday) in Houghton, Michigan. Game starts at 4:07pm, no live stream so be sure to follow @SunDevilHockey on Twitter for live in-game updates.