Joe D'Elia played phenomenal hockey, but it was three veteran forwards who helped D'Elia and the team with their 24th of the season.
The Sun Devils were at risk of being shut out for the first time since January 2010, but they found a miracle and won on back-to-back nights in shootout fashion.
ASU was losing 1-0 heading into the final minutes, but at the 51 second mark of the third period, Kale Dolinski tied the game up to force overtime and eventually a shootout. The Sun Devils would then beat Stony Brook by a score of 2-1, thanks to Dolinski and two shootout goals.
On Thursday night, the shootout took eight rounds, but the game on Friday night was decided in just three. Seawolves captain Mike Caccioti scored the first goal of the shootout, beating Joe D’Elia on his high blocker side. Next up, senior Dan Anderson evened the shootout at one apiece after a nasty wrist shot that blew past Brendan Jones. Ryan Cotcamp, Danny McAuliffe and Nick Deresky would all miss in their next attempts and up came ASU captain Colin Hekle with a chance to win it for his team.
Hekle sniped his shot past Jones’ glove hand and celebrated with the team after escaping another close game.
For the second night in a row, ASU did not look like themselves on the ice and the majority of the game was heavily dominated by the Seawolves. They scored with just under four minutes to play in the second period on a nice tick-tac-toe pattern that left a wide open net for Cotcamp to stuff it home.
The Sun Devils have been plagued with injuries the past month or so and Friday night was no better. Stephen Collins did not play as he was a healthy scratch and Dan Styrna sat out for precautionary reasons. Styrna left the game against Liberty early on Thursday night. Phil Sansone and Dan Kuenzi stepped in on the fourth line to fill the void left by Collins and Styrna.
D’Elia looked phenomenal for the second straight game as he only allowed one goal, and his counterpart Jones denied nearly 40 Sun Devil shots. ASU played a more simple style tonight as they tried to get back to the basics, but they were outplayed because of it. Stony Brook looked fantastic in the defensive zone all night. They anticipated the maroon and gold’s attack behind the net, they did not allow anyone in the slot, they sacrificed their body to block a handful of shots in front of Jones. Simply put, the Seawolves had the Sun Devils’ number all night until Kale Dolinski caught a break and was able to lob a backhander over Jones’ shoulder.
On a side note, the best line of the night was hands down Troy Scott, Ben Findlay and Dan Anderson. Scott won the team hard hat of the game for his efforts on the ice.
The players know they got lucky and won a game they probably shouldn’t have. They will have a chance to redeem themselves Saturday night against Stony Brook when the puck drops at 7 p.m.