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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils drop opener but leave Omaha with a glimmer of hope

After a weak showing Friday night, ASU showed fight today to salvage the trip north.

Photo Courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics

OMAHA, Neb. — Following a victory on opening night against UMass-Amherst, the Arizona State Sun Devils (1-4-1) have really struggled to find their stride.

After dropping two games at No. 19 Air Force last weekend the Sun Devils got off to a rough start in Omaha, quickly going down 3-0 Friday night. After a power play goal by veteran defenseman Jakob Stridesberg to draw ASU within two, Omaha put up two more unanswered goals on the way to a 5-1 final score.

It was a rough night for the Sun Devils on the whole with net minder Ryland Pashovitz stopping 25 of 30 shots and defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk taking two penalties.

A short memory is important in hockey, however, and the Sun Devils proved that tonight in the series finale.

The early-game struggles continued as the Sun Devils quickly went down 2-0 in the first three minutes of the contest.

The Sun Devils would spend the remainder of regulation time playing catch up with the Mavericks. After tying it up at 3-3 midway through to third period Omaha scored its third power play goal of the game to take the lead with just over eight minutes to play.

Hope looked bleak for ASU as the clock slowly ticked away until there was under a minute left.

Head coach Greg Powers pulled goalie Joey Daccord for an extra attacker and the move paid off. Freshman defenseman Max Balinson scored his first collegiate goal with just 38 seconds left to play to tie the game up at four and send it to overtime.

Overtime proved to be fruitless the game went to a sudden-death shootout. After Gage Hough was denied and Joey Daccord stoned the first two Omaha shooters cold it was Jack Rowe who was the hero.

The Cary, Ill. native beat Kris Oldham to win it for the Sun Devils in the shootout.

Much like last season ASU proved to be too difficult to sweep — stealing a tie and a moral victory in the shootout.

Joey Daccord stopped 46 of 50 shots he faced in the win while Jakob Stridesberg added another goal and assist to give him three points in total on the road trip.

With some momentum gained from the game two shootout win, ASU will travel to New York next weekend to take on the Colgate Raiders (2-2-2).