Round of 32
No. 2 "ASU Hockey Stuns Penn State" vs. No. 7 "Bowen's Empty-Netter Seals Victory Over Wildcats"
The Case for 'ASU Hockey Stuns Penn State': In the world of college hockey, the Sun Devils' 3-1 victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions may have been the biggest upset of the year. The Sun Devils traveled to Happy Valley as enormous underdogs despite having won the first 18 games of their season. Penn State represented the first NCAA Division 1 opponent the Sun Devils would ever compete against. Furthermore, the Nittany Lions matriculated from the ACHA, where they won five titles before making the jump to the premier college circuit.
As if those odds weren't steep enough to overcome, the Nittany Lions roster was loaded with 18 scholarship players compared to 0 for the troop from Tempe. Nevertheless, Arizona State played with the passion, grittiness, and heart you would expect from a group of dreamers. When the final horn blew, the Sun Devils had outlasted the Nittany Lions behind a pair of goals from Kale Dolinski and an additional score from Faiz Khan.
The victory sent shock waves throughout the college hockey landscape, and put Arizona State on the map. It's no surprise that the Sun Devils landed the best recruiting class in program history after beating an NCAA opponent. The Penn State is a win that Sun Devil hockey fans will never forget, and it's a moment that figures to move deep into our bracket competition.
@HouseOfSparky gotta go with ASU Hockey beating Penn State.— David Fuciarelli (@dfuciarelli) June 18, 2013
The Case for 'Bowen's Empty-Netter': Arizona State extended its remarkable 32-game win streak over the Arizona Wildcats with eight heart-stopping thrillers this season. Each time the squads faced off against one another, the Sun Devils found a new way to help their fans' hair turn gray. So when the final opportunity for the Wildcats to pull an upset came about, it was easy to predict that things would come down to the wire.
On February 23rd, the Sun Devils played their final regular-season contest in the unfriendly confines of the Tucson convention center. The mutual hatred between the two teams was prevalent from the puck-drop, and the physicality was at an all-time high.
With under two minutes left to play, the Sun Devils held a 2-1 lead but the Wildcats had controlled much of the tempo. Arizona coach Sean Hogan elected to pull his goalie, and the Wildcat offense sprang to life. However, Sun Devil forward Kyle Bowen found a loose puck and sent it in the direction of the Arizona net with the hopes of icing the game. Amazingly, the puck slid between the pipes and sealed Arizona State's 32nd consecutive victory against the Wildcats. The Wildcats and their fans inside the Tucson Convention Center left dejected, while the Sun Devil seniors closed out four perfect years against their rivals.