Arizona State (1-3) was in good position to try and steal a game on the road at No. 3 Minnesota State (2-0) midway through the second period on Saturday night.
However, one sequence proved to be costly, and the Mavericks took advantage and never let off the gas in a 5-0 victory that resulted in a Minnesota State victory.
That one sequence occurred late in the second period. ASU trailed the Mavericks 1-0, and they had played a mostly competitive game into the second frame. But with under a minute remaining, Sun Devil senior forward Steen Pasichnuk had a collision with an MSU player.
It was deemed that Pasichnuk earned a game misconduct penalty for the open ice collision, and it set up a five-minute major power play for the Mavs. As good teams do, they took advantage of an opportunity.
Coming out in the third period with a full four minutes on the man advantage, the home team tallied two goals to make things 3-0. Senior forward Marc Michaelis and junior forward Reggie Lutz both found the back of the net on shots from the left circle.
From there, things snowballed and ASU didn’t rally. Freshman forwards Lucas Sowder and Ryan Sandelin lit the lamp for their first collegiate goals, and Minnesota State finished the contest outshooting ASU by a whooping margin of 44-14.
Freshman goaltender Justin Robbins ended up making his NCAA debut to close out the end of an ugly third period, and the team from Mankato skated off with a win.
In the third period, redshirt sophomore forward Austin Lemieux was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct. Senior forward Brett Gruber went down earlier in the game, and between penalties and an absence, the bench grew more thin. Altogether, the Devils’ tallied 45 penalty minutes compared to Minnesota State’s 18.
After the game, head coach Greg Powers bluntly voiced his frustrations with the outcome, and the officiating (see video in tweet below).
In what was surely a frustrating night for the team, ASU now looks to lick its wounds and respond quickly with a road trip to Air Force next weekend. At 1-3, there’s still plenty of time to rebound, but the Devils don’t want to dig themselves too deep of a hole to climb out of.
Next weekend’s series should be a big one to try and get back on track.