No. 13 Arizona State (16-8-1) sustained a 6-1 defeat at the hands of No. 17 Cornell (8-5-1) on Friday. The showing was one of the most sound losses of the season for the Devils.
Cornell outshot ASU 52-25, and opened the flood gates in the third period when they scored four goals.
ASU junior goaltender Joey Daccord gave his team a chance in the first and second periods, with Daccord making a few sprawling stops to keep his team in the game. However, Cornell’s forecheck and puck possession proved to be too much, and the dam broke open late in the third.
For the first time all season, freshman backup goaltender Evan Debrouwer was thrown into action. He played the final eight minutes of the third, and allowed one goal in his performance.
Leading the charge for Cornell were sophomore forwards Cam Donaldson and Morgan Barron, who both had two-point nights. The Big Red had six different goal-scorers, and they shared the wealth in the victory.
Earlier this week, ASU head coach Greg Powers noted Cornell was one of the most “hard-working” teams that ASU will face all season, and the Big Red fit that description on Friday. In net, Cornell sophomore goaltender Austin McGrath made 24 saves, and he made a few timely stops near the end of the second period to aid in the win.
If there was one positive for ASU, it was the Devils’ lone goal of the game. Sophomore forward Johnny Walker cut into a 3-0 Cornell lead in the third period on a breakaway goal. The strike was Walker’s 27th point of the season, giving him a new program record for points scored in the program’s four-year history.
Nonetheless, the lone goal was a small bright spot in what was otherwise a steady beating by the Big Red.
Cornell outplayed and controlled the pace of play, and they ultimately earned their victory in a game that they controlled from nearly start to finish.
Game two between the teams is at 5 p.m. local time. In the second game of back-to-back’s this year, ASU has responded with poise on various occasions. After losses in opening games against Harvard, Penn State and Clarkson earlier this season, ASU responded with a strong effort.
The Devils won the following Saturday against Harvard and Penn State, and they responded to the Clarkson loss with a tie against a then-ranked No. 3 Minnesota State team in the Desert Hockey Classic.
Once again, a young Sun Devil battalion will look to gather themselves and come back stronger on Saturday. The adversity will only help as the race to the NCAA Tournament starts to heat up.