A week after picking up a sweep against Boston College, No. 13 Arizona State (16-9-1) was on the wrong side of the broom stick against No. 13 Cornell (8-5-1), as the Sun Devils fell 3-2 on Saturday night at Lynah Rink.
Similar to Friday’s game, the Devils fell down 2-0 in the first period. The Big Red picked up where they left off the night before, and they scored a goal less than five minutes into the game on a shot from sophomore forward Cam Donaldson. It was one of Donaldson’s two goals on the evening.
The second period would be held scoreless between both sides, but then almost nine minutes into the the third, the Sun Devils committed a hooking penalty.
Cornell proceeded to net a goal with the man-advantage off the stick of sophomore forward Morgan Barron. It would make the score 3-0, and the chances of a comeback for ASU looked bleak with all momentum against them.
But with their backs against the wall, the Sun Devils responded. The only problem was they were playing two teams: Cornell, and the clock.
At the 5:37 mark, freshman forward Jarrod Gourley got the goose egg off the scoreboard when he scored on a pass from redshirt freshman forward Austin Lemieux. Junior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk then made things even more interesting when he clanked in a shot off the post and into the goal to make the score 3-2.
However, it would be too little, too late for the Devils as Cornell was able to close out the waning seconds. The late power play goal that looked as if it would have little meaning turned into the game-winner for the Big Red.
Cornell had 24 blocked shots, and their defensive prowess and discipline throughout both games in the series was prevalent. Additionally, they were effective working the puck down low and in their own zone.
After a slow first period, ASU found its legs through the late stages of the second frame and throughout the third.
However, on the road and against a Cornell squad who was playing in front of a big crowd on home ice, the task of accomplishing a three-goal comeback was just too much to overcome.
ASU outshot the Big Red 29-28 on the final shot counter, but Cornell fended off the late push. In a return from a midseason injury, sophomore goaltender Matthew Galajda made 27 stops to keep the final score at 3-2.
After two losses to a ranked opponent, the latter half of the ASU schedule becomes pivotal as the team looks to make a postseason push. They still hold a 16-9-1 record, but there is more work to be done.
Up next, ASU has a bye week before returning back east to take on Boston University in a two game series on Jan. 25 and 26.