No. 19 Arizona State (11-6) took down Princeton (3-7-1) on Friday night with a 45-save clinic courtesy of ASU junior goaltender Joey Daccord.
Daccord held down the fort through the second and third period, and it allowed his teammates to score some timely goals. ASU was out shot 45-30, but it would be no problem due to the Sun Devil netminder and some early goals in the first and third period.
In the opening frame and just 15 seconds into the game, sophomore forward Johnny Walker would be the beneficiary of a pass in the slot, and he netted the first goal of the game.
Later in the period, freshman defenseman Josh Maniscalco activated from the blue line and jumped onto the rush, and he proceeded to drop a pass down to junior forward Brett Gruber, who was driving toward the net.
Gruber received the pass and dropped it from his forehand to the backhand, and deposited it in the top right corner, making the score 2-0 with under two minutes remaining in the first period.
The second period belonged to Princeton, but the only problem was they ran into the brick wall of Daccord. The Tigers had two power plays and generated a variety of scoring chances, but time and time again, Daccord would provide the answer.
He made 21 saves in the second period, and that set the stage for his team to answer. ASU junior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk chipped home a goal in the third period on a play where he was tripped going to the net, and that made the score 3-0.
Backed by a couple more acrobatic stops from their goaltender, the Devils added a late empty net goal from senior forward Anthony Croston, sealing the final score at 4-0.
The shutout was Daccord’s fourth of the season, which ties him for the NCAA Division I lead in college hockey.
As for some other notes, junior forward Tyler Busch did not play in Friday's game due to a suspension that he was handed down earlier this week after a late cross check and a game misconduct in ASU’s last contest against Nebraska Omaha.
Busch will be back on the ice in game two against Princeton, but due to his absence on Friday, head coach Greg Powers made a few adjustments including a few line shake-ups, and the insertion of redshirt senior forward Louie Rowe.
With the NCAA’s extra skater rule in place this season, freshman defenseman and local product Connor Stuart made his season debut on the blue line, skating as the team’s seventh defenseman on Friday.
The role has primarily been served by forwards this season, with Rowe and sophomore Fil Buncis occupying the position, but Stuart took the reigns with the spot on Friday.
ASU returns to the ice tomorrow night for game two against the Tigers at 5 p.m. local time. The game can be viewed on ESPN+.