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ASU Hockey: Penalty-filled loss prevents Sun Devils from weekend sweep

Arizona State took an early lead, but special team miscues caused the Sun Devils to fall 3-2.

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In what early on looked like it could’ve been a sweep for Arizona State (4-13) turned out to be a penalty-abundant disaster as Colgate (4-9-4) beat the Sun Devils 3-2 on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena.

Arizona State led 2-1 at the end of the first period. From then on, it was all Colgate who scored a goal in each of the next two periods to seal the win.

“I think we didn’t deserved to win tonight,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “They outworked us really from start to finish.”

Being outworked led to being outplayed, especially on special teams.

On Friday night, Arizona State won 5-4. The Sun Devils scored a short-handed goal, had two power-play goals and held the Raiders to no power-play goals on three penalties. In this game, ASU allowed two power-play goals on five penalties and failed to score on three power plays of its own.

“Tonight, from the get-go, we just did not play disciplined,” Powers said. “Just dumb penalties—offensive zone penalties, penalties behind a linesman on face-offs—things that just didn’t need to happen. And it just goes to show you how important special teams are.”

Powers mentioned the Sun Devils averaged just “seven penalty minutes against per game” in their last eight contests. On Saturday night, ASU sacrificed 22 penalty minutes to Colgate.

Even though ASU was outshot 27-15 and obliterated in the special teams battle, the Sun Devils still had a great chance to win.

The first two goals, both in the first period, came first from junior right wing Wade Murphy on a shot that slipped through the legs of Raiders freshman goalie Colton Point, and sophomore center Anthony Croston followed with a long shot that went top shelf.

Sophomore left wing Jake Montgomery was responsible for assists on both goals scored and earned the third star of the game.

“He did a great job,” Powers said. “Jake’s got to play like that every game to make an impact with us. He’s got to play hard and heavy and show some leadership and tonight he did.”

The Sun Devils went 2-2 on their longest homestand of the season. Now, ASU begins its 50-day departure of games from Oceanside as it gets over a week of practice before returning to the ice on the road against American International (3-6-6) on Dec. 13 at 7:05 p.m.