Arizona State (1-2) fell to No. 3 Minnesota State (1-0) 4-1 on Friday night in Mankato. The matchup was the season opener for the Mavericks, and they were able to come out with the victory due to some late scoring.
ASU entered the third period trailing just 2-1. However, the Mavericks would add to their advantage with a short-handed goal from senior forward Marc Michaelis, then the knockout punch would be another power play goal from Michaelis with under two minutes remaining.
ASU peppered shots at Minnesota State sophomore goaltender Dryden McKay, but it would be to no avail.
Early on, both teams traded first period punches. First, Maverick junior defenseman Riese Zmolek broke the scoring with a goal just over eight minutes into the opening frame.
However, the Devils would respond with a strike from junior forward Johnny Walker, who got the lone tally of the night past McKay on an assist from sophomore defenseman Josh Maniscalco.
ASU weathered the early storm of a home opener for the No. 3 team in the nation, and after a pretty even first period, both teams went into the dressing rooms knotted at one. The shot totals sat at 10-9 in favor of Minnesota State.
The second period is when trouble began to brew, though. The Mavericks jumped out of the gate with a head of steam and elevated their shot counter to 20 in the first 10 minutes of the frame.
Sun Devil sophomore goaltender Evan DeBrouwer kept the team in it with some big stops, but the gates would finally break on a late power play goal from sophomore forward Julian Napravnik, sending Minnesota State into the intermission with a one-goal lead.
The two third period goals were insurance, and the Mavericks skated away as victors in their first game of the season.
As good teams do, Minnesota State made ASU pay for its miscues. They registered two of their four goals on the power play, and it would be the difference in a game where things got away late from the Sun Devils.
ASU had its opportunities, generating 26 shots compared to the Mavericks’ 33, but they weren’t able to capitalize. It wasn’t their best performance to date, but the team didn’t seem completely outmatched in a game with one of the top teams in the nation.
With a new day in front of them, the Devils look to earn a series split tomorrow evening. Puck drop for game two is at 4:07 p.m. local time.