Heartbreak told the story for Arizona State hockey (1-3-0) on Friday and Saturday night as the Sun Devils received their second and third-straight losses of the season at the hands of the No. 19 Air Force (3-0-1).
With both games being decided by one goal, ASU was in both games but just couldn’t score the clutch goals when it needed to. Facing the 19th-ranked Air Force Falcons, the Sun Devils did many things right, just not enough to get any wins.
Coming off a split series in week one of the season against UMass-Amherst, the Sun Devils were looking to bounce back in a big way on the road against a ranked team.
Last season ASU was a very tough team to handle on the road beating Western Michigan, Ohio State, and Quinnipiac at some point in the season.
This weekend; however, the Sun Devils just couldn’t finish.
Here’s what you missed:
The first game of the series saw ASU plagued by a common theme so far this season, the power play. The Sun Devils were just 1-for-7 on the power play, including three chances in the second period and two in the third that they failed to capitalize on.
While Air Force scored just minutes into the game before jumping out to a 4-1 lead, ASU didn’t give up, scoring two third period goals to draw within one.
The final ten minutes of the third period; however, saw the Sun Devils hit the post and the body of Air Force goalie Billy Christopoulos numerous times, but never the back of the net.
In the end, ASU dropped the opener by a final score of 4-3.
A positive takeaway was the continued success of freshman winger Johnny Walker and defenseman Jacob Wilson who were both involved in one of ASU’s goals.
Goalie Joey Daccord saved 34 of 38 shots he faced, but the Sun Devils just couldn’t crack Christopoulos who stopped 27 of the 30 shots sent his way.
The second game of the series was slightly more frustrating for the Sun Devils.
After another early goal by Air Force just over a minute into the game, the Sun Devils jumped in front on two unanswered goals produced by the Sun Devils’ fourth line in the first period.
Jake Clifford scored the first one and assisted the second one mirroring his linemate Jack Rowe who assisted on the first tally and netted the go-ahead goal.
The second period was a different story.
The Sun Devils failed to convert on the only two power plays of the period and conceded two goals in the process handing over their one and only lead of the game.
Unable to make anything happen in the third period in game two, the Sun Devils fell by a final score of 3-2.
Daccord was sturdy in net saving 28 of the 31 shots he faced but in the end it wasn’t enough to overcome the 19th-ranked Falcons.
Arizona State will continue its three-week long road trip on Oct. 20-21, as the Sun Devils travel to Nebraska to take on unranked Omaha who are coming off of a split series against No.12 UMass-Lowell.
Games will be played next Friday and Saturday night as the Sun Devils will look to find the answer and get back to their winning ways.