On the road once more this weekend, Arizona State (2-3) blanked Air Force (0-3) 3-0 in the Falcons’ home opener at USAFA Cadet Ice Arena on Friday night.
Defensively, ASU clamped down, allowing just 15 shots through 60 minutes. After the first two periods, the Falcons only mustered seven shots total.
As for the scoring, the Devils broke things open in the second period when senior forward Tyler Busch punched home a rebound. The goal occurred in Busch’s 100th game as a Sun Devil.
Congrats to Mr. 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ on moving into a tie for 4th in games played in program history! pic.twitter.com/A4BuCHrWhb— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) October 19, 2019
Then in the third period, ASU put things away with two goals. Junior forward Johnny Walker lit the lamp with under 10 minutes remaining, and junior forward Willie Knierim put home an empty net goal to seal things off and secure his second point on the night.
Sophomore defenseman Josh Maniscalco, and junior forwards James Sanchez and Fil Buncis also tallied points in the victory. ASU outshot Air Force 23-15, and they were stout defensively, blocking 22 shots compared to the Falcons’ eight.
Sun Devil senior forward Brett Gruber was out on Friday with an undisclosed upper body injury that he sustained last week against Minnesota State, but his team came through in his absence. Sophomore goaltender Evan DeBrouwer earned his first collegiate shutout on a night where his defense played well in front of him.
After a tough weekend in Mankato just last week, the team is now back in the win column and looks to take a second game against a winless Air Force team in Colorado Springs. Puck drop for game two is set for Saturday, October 19 at 6:05 p.m. local time.