Photo: Allyson Cummings
Arizona State came alive in the third period to beat the Wildcats in Tucson.
Thanks to a strong third period, Arizona State extended its streak to 31 in a row against Arizona, beating them 2-1.
The Sun Devils and Wildcats played a very even first period and took a scoreless game into the second period. ASU goaltender Joe D'Elia and UofA goaltender Robert Schultz played strong between the pipes, and Stephen Collins was stuffed on a penalty shot attempt midway through the opening period.
The environment was fantastic in Tucson as over 5,800 fans came to the game, and Michael Ferreira scored the lone Wildcat goal of the game with under five minutes to play in the second. But the Sun Devils made the Tucson faithful pay in the final twenty minutes.
Within the first minute, Kyle Bowen scored a backhander beauty to even the game and quiet the Tucson Convention Center. It was a back and forth contest the rest of the way out, but D'Elia played one of his best games in the second half of this season and the defense did not give much room for the Wildcats to work.
With the two minute mark approaching, senior Ryan Clark fired a shot from the boards that beat Schultz to give ASU a 2-1 lead and that's how the game would end.
"It was kind of a surprise," Clark said. "I was throwing the puck in front for Liam (Norris), but it went in the back of the net... It was great to extend the streak and we want to keep that streak alive."
Clark did not receive much credit from the Wildcats PA announcer who said Mike Granato scored the eventual game-winning goal, but the senior defenseman was able to laugh about it after the Sun Devils secured the victory.
Thirty-one wins in a row against one team is something that does not happen regularly so the Sun Devils are soaking up the moment while they can.
Arizona State sat captain Colin Hekle, Jordan Young and Darcy Charrois for precautionary reasons, but they are all expected to play in the National Tournament starting next weekend.
Because two defensemen were out, senior Dan Anderson shifted to defense and played like his sophomore self and blanked the Wildcat forwards all night. Anderson is a natural forward, but during his sophomore campaign, he played defense due to the lack of blueliners.
The Wildcats have only scored 11 goals in six games this season against the team from Tempe. The two teams square off again Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.