Through the first three games of the 2012-2013 season, Arizona State had yet to face a real challenge on the ice. A dominant victory against Texas A&M and a sweep of the Arizona Wildcats had the Sun Devils at 3-0-0 and a lofty spot at No. 2 in the latest ACHA rankings, the highest in program history.
Carrying that momentum with them, the team departed for the first road trip of the season, a two-game weekend set against a potent Iowa State team that held the No. 11 spot in the latest polls. The Sun Devils needed every bit of that, as Friday night's opener proved to be a hard fought thriller.
The Cyclones drew first blood. ASU freshman phenom Jordan Young was sent to the box for slashing, and ISU's Justin Buttermore converted on the power play for the 1-0 lead. Things got interesting a few minutes later when ASU's Danny McAuliffe received a spearing major and a game misconduct, subsequently getting tossed from the game. During the extended power play, Iowa State doubled the lead seven minutes later on Derek Kohles' second goal of the season.
However, ASU roared back. Captain Colin Heckle scored his fifth of the year on the power play and less than a minute later, Stephen Collins scored the equalizer and the first period ended tied at 2-2.
Just 42 seconds into the second, the Sun Devils finally took a lead thanks to a goal from Brian Parson. J.P. Kascask, ISU's leading scorer, notched his sixth to send the game into the third tied at three.
The teams then settled into a tense back-and-forth stalemate. The third period went scoreless and the game went into overtime, where neither team could find the net. That is, until Young scored the biggest goal of his Sun Devil career with just 1:16 left in the game to give ASU the 4-3 win and improve the team's record to a perfect 4-0-0 on the season.
The two teams will complete the series tonight in Ames, with the puck drop set for 5:30 p.m.