Coming into this weekend’s series against Michigan Tech (16-14-5), the Arizona State Sun Devils (8-19-5) were 3-4-1 in 2018, which when compared to their 4-14-4 record in 2017 is significantly improved.
The Devils beat Michigan Tech to win the Ice Vegas Invitational in January and this week in a series that took place in Houghton, Mich. they split two games with a 2-1 overtime win in game one and a 5-3 loss in game two.
With just one series remaining after this one, the Sun Devils are looking to end what has been a season full of high highs and low lows on yet another high note.
The series opener saw goalie Joey Daccord playing at his absolute best, saving 39 of 40 shots, and the Devils playing how they need to in order to win close hockey games.
Although the penalty kill has been effective this year, ASU avoided relying on them taking just three penalties on the night (one of which led to the sole Michigan Tech goal).
Although Daccord’s performance stole the show, it was freshmen roommates Jacob Wilson and Johnny Walker who provided the offense with Walker tying the game at one early in the second period and Wilson burying one in overtime for the win.
Once again the Devils were outshot, but with Daccord on his game and ASU largely staying out of the box they managed to edge the Huskies in game one by a score of 2-1.
The second game of the series saw significantly more offense than its predecessor, but unfortunately for head coach Greg Powers and company the Sun Devils came out on the losing end.
Late period goals were again a theme as the Sun Devils scored with just seconds left in both the first and second periods. One of the last-second goals was scored by Brinson Pasichnuk to give ASU a 1-0 lead and the other came from the team’s leading scorer Johnny Walker to draw them back within one at 3-2 late in the second.
From there ASU would tie it up at 3, but turnovers and two goals just seconds apart gave the Huskies a two-goal lead at 5-3 that would last them the rest of the night.
Although Daccord wasn’t fully on his “A” game, the North Andover-native managed to stop 40 of 45 shots he faced; however, two power play goals and costly turnovers in the third period proved costly.
Once again Johnny Walker found his way onto the score sheet all weekend racking up four points on the trip and adding to his record-high point totals as a freshman.
The final series of the season for ASU takes the Sun Devils to Ann Arbor, Mich. where they will face the Michigan Wolverines.
Coming off a win in South Bend, Ind. over top-ranked Notre Dame the 18th-ranked Wolverines will be buzzing heading into their final home series against ASU so it will fall to the Sun Devils to march into a hostile environment and shock Michigan.
As they have showed at points throughout this season, the Sun Devils, although young, are not to be taken lightly.