In a game full of momentum shifts, Arizona State (5-4) ended up on the wrong side of a 4-3 defeat against Alaska Fairbanks (6-5) on Friday night.
Friday’s game featured three goals in both the second and third periods, and ASU would rally from down 3-1 in the third, only to fall on a goal from Alaska in the waning minutes.
In that wild third period, the Nanooks held an advantage after a big second frame in which freshman forward Filip Fornaa Svensson had two goals, and sophomore forward Caleb Hite added a third tally.
The three-goal onslaught came after Sun Devil freshman defenseman Jacob Semik ended the first period for ASU on a high note, putting home his first collegiate goal on a shot from the slot with under 10 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Alaska just needed to hold on to its two-goal cushion entering the final 20 minutes. However, as many hockey fans and players alike know, a two-goal lead always seems to be the most dangerous in the sport, and ASU put that theory into action.
In a span of 46 seconds, the Sun Devils came back. First, junior defenseman Jacob Wilson let loose a shot that was tipped in by junior forward James Sanchez to make things 3-2. Moments later, an interference call was assessed to the Nanooks.
ASU capitalized on its opportunity, and junior forward Johnny Walker was able to squeeze home a power play goal to knot things at three. Suddenly, all momentum seemed to be on the Sun Devil bench.
But to Alaska’s credit, they didn’t let the adversity set in. At the 3:26 mark of the third, Nanook senior forward and captain Kylar Hope made a move near the right circle, and buried the eventual game-winner.
With little time, ASU was assessed one final opportunity. A late interference call with 2:01 remaining gave the Sun Devils a power play, and an extra attacker with sophomore goaltender Evan DeBrouwer pulled from the net.
In the final minute, the Devils’ made a big push, and came inches away from tying things up. Sanchez rung a post, and there were opportunities around the goal mouth. However, the Nanooks hunkered down, blocking a few different shots in the final seconds, and held on to win.
The third period heroics from earlier in the period didn’t hold up, and a topsy-turvy matchup came to a close.
ASU goes for a series split tomorrow, Nov. 9, at 9:07 p.m. local time.