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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils leave Holy Cross with series win after another tie in finale

Coming off a bad home stand, the Sun Devils bounced back in a big way on the road in Massachusetts.

Photo Courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics

Coming off a weekend where offensive struggles and defensive woes were at a maximum resulting in a combined 11-2 series score against Penn State, the Sun Devils needed to make a statement on Friday and Saturday.

Traveling to Worcester, Mass. to take on a solid Holy Cross team (5-4-6), it would be a big test for struggling Arizona State (3-8-3).

Game One

The opening game of the series got off to a bit of a slow start for both teams as neither squad found the back of the net in the first 20 minutes of play.

One of the bigger storylines was the penalty kill which went 5-for-5 on the night including three in the first period.

Once the second period was underway, the tides seemed to be turning in favor of Holy Cross as they scored the opening goal in transition following an unsuccessful ASU power play. It was the only one they would get on the night.

To compound matters, Louie Rowe was ejected for illegal contact to the head and the Sun Devils found themselves having to kill off a five-minute penalty.

They stepped up and did so and momentum came with it as they tied the game up with under a minute left to play in the second period, courtesy of a Johnny Walker tip-in goal with assists to Jacob Wilson and Brett Gruber.

From there, it would be all ASU. With just under two minutes into the third, they took the lead by way of another tip-in goal, this time from David Norris.

A few minutes later Tyler Busch would make it 3-1, and that would remain as the final score, as the Sun Devils took the opener against Holy Cross.

Goalie Joey Daccord continued his stellar performance in goal saving 30 of 31 shots on the night to help secure the victory.

Game Two

Coming off a huge momentous game one win, game two did not get off to an ideal start for ASU, as Holy Cross scored just nine seconds into the series finale.

However, like he has been known to do, Johnny Walker took matters into his own hands and scored the game-tying goal just a minute later.

With the penalty kill coming up huge again, killing 5 of 5 penalties off and Joey Daccord making 39 saves, the Sun Devils had every chance to win game two, but Holy Cross didn’t give in.

Much like game one, the second period was crucial in game two as Holy Cross scored two goals just two minutes apart to jump out to a 3-1 lead over ASU.

The Sun Devils weren’t finished; however, as they came storming back with goals by Brinson Pasichnuk and Brett Gruber knotting the game at three.

That’s where the score would remain for the next 25 minutes plus overtime as Arizona State left Massachusetts with a win and a tie.

While the power play continued to struggle, the penalty kill stepped up big in both games for a combined 10 of 10 to keep them in both contests.

Joey Daccord played like Joey Daccord, as he saved 69 of 73 shots he faced, which was good for a 2.00 GAA and a .945 save percentage on the weekend.

The Freshman phenom, Walker, continued his scoring ways, picking up a crucial goal in each game to help give life to what has been a struggling ASU offense.

Looking Ahead

Arizona State will host Princeton (4-4-1) on December 8th and 9th. With two weeks to work in practice, it will be a crucial series for the Sun Devils, as the Three Rivers Classic and Ice Vegas Invitational are right around the corner.

Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. MT both nights and the Devils will be back at Oceanside Ice Arena to host the visiting Tigers.