In a hard-hitting, push and shove, all-out war between Rensselaer Poly (3-12-1) and Arizona State (3-12), the Sun Devils couldn’t manage to sweep the Engineers in a 2-0 loss on Saturday night.
The score stood at zero until RPI scored midway through the third period to break the tie.
“I think it was an evenly played game,” said head coach Greg Powers. “It was just one of those games. You can’t win when you don’t score and we were fighting to put the puck in the net tonight. They played hard.”
The Sun Devils and Engineers had just as many shots (28), penalties (4), and power plays (3), but Powers felt his team did not play 60 strong minutes of hockey like they did last night in Arizona State’s 5-3 win on Friday night.
“We just were struggling to get any real flow or mojo. Where last night you could feel it really the whole game,” Powers said.
It was the third time the Sun Devils were shutout this season. And they couldn’t score on three power plays.
The Maroon and Gold went 1-6 in power plays this series and are 1-16 in their past five games.
“We told the units before the game if you get one power play goal, we win the game. And if they got one goal we would have won,” Powers said.
Senior goaltender Robert Levin kept the score at 0-0 until 9:26 into the third period when junior defencemen Jared Wilson put the Engineers ahead. The second goal, scored by senior forward Riley Bourbonnais, came with a minute left when Levin was pulled from the goal.
Despite the 2-0 loss, Powers was pleased with his goalie’s performance.
“He was good. He was solid. He made some big saves,” Powers said. “The first two periods, especially in the third period, he held us in it.”
Levin saved 26 of the 27 shots directed at him, giving him a .963 save percentage. That mark is better than any of his previous performances this season.
It was his fifth start of the season, but Levin has only played 218 minutes, while senior Ryland Pashovitz has played 267 and freshman Joey Daccord has competed in 344.
The Sun Devils get roughly a week of practice before Colgate (3-7-4) ventures into Oceanside Ice Arena for a two game series this Friday and Saturday. Both games will start at 7:05 p.m.