Just like the day before, the Arizona State Sun Devils' hockey exhibition with the University of Alberta officially ended in a tie Saturday, with Alberta winning the shootout for a final of 3-2.
On Friday, ASU got the better end of the shootout. The Sun Devils returned to Oceanside looking to take the finale of their two game exhibition series with the Golden Bears but fell short.
"We're proud of our guys," said ASU coach Greg Powers. "That's such a good team. I can straight up tell you, that if you would have told me we went into a shootout with that team, two nights in a row, I would have taken it all day. All day. They're good. There's a reason why they are the two-time defending national champions up there, cause they're good. They are just polished and older. That series just made us better."
Freshman David Jacobson got the call between the pipes for the Sun Devils, only his second start of the season, and put together a 43-save performance in the loss. The fast pace from Friday was back on Saturday, with these two teams flying up and down the ice. Luke Siemens got the call again for Alberta.
"It's been awhile but I had a great time, I really enjoyed it," Jacobson said. "I think the guys really battled well in front of me and I think all-around it was a great team effort."
It was a more friendly start for the Sun Devils in the first period, as they were able to put home the only goal of the period. Junior forward Ryan Belonger stole an Alberta pass in the Golden Bears end and was in alone on a breakaway, putting the puck top shelf, right above the glove of Alberta goalie Luke Siemens.
The second period was where the physicality turned to a new level, culminating with a huge hit by Alberta on Jordan Masters after the whistle, causing a five minute major. The Sun Devils were unable to capitalize on their 5-on-3 advantage, staying scoreless on the power play.
They did however add another tally after Ryan Stevens fed Jack Rowe for a chance in front and he put it home, giving the Sun Devils a 2-0 lead.
"I think that was by-design, by that team, to try and get into the game more because they were struggling to generate too much through two periods. They had their moments, obviously, but we knew the wave was coming. And it did. That's the way those guys play. And that's okay," Powers said about the physicality.
Alberta came out with a huge third period, scoring two goals less than a minute apart to tie the game at two. When the final whistle sounded, these two teams would need overtime once again. And, just like on Friday, overtime still wouldn't be enough.
With the game officially in as a tie, the two teams turned back to the shootout. Unlike Friday night, Alberta walked away with win.
Arizona State was out-shot again, with Jacobson bailing them out multiple times. The power play was also not pretty, going 0-for-6, including some 5-on-3 time.
"If we can just get one tonight, it's probably game over," Powers said. "We couldn't extend that lead [2-0], we had all the chances in the world to extend it to three and we couldn't do it and it gave them momentum. And they get a power play and they pop one. That's how the game works."
Next week, the Sun Devils head back on the road next weekend to face RPI in a two game series. Their next home game comes on Tuesday January 5th, a rematch with the University of Connecticut.