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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils secure a game one victory at Brown

Game one in the books

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

No. 15 Arizona State (12-8-3) used two first period goals and a strong penalty kill to upend Brown (3-13) 3-1 on Saturday night in Providence.

In the first period, the Sun Devils got off to a quick start on the road as junior forward James Sanchez buried ASU’s first goal of the evening at the 12:41 mark of the first.

Sanchez’s tally added to his growing point totals, as he is now tied with junior forward Johnny Walker with 26 points to lead all scorers on the Sun Devil roster.

Shortly after Sanchez lit the lamp, sophomore defenseman Jarrod Gourley then followed suit with a rocket that beat Brown senior goaltender Gavin Nieto. The strike was Gourley’s first goal of the season.

ASU was in the driver’s seat after a strong opening 20 minutes, but a bit of adversity struck in the second period when Sun Devil freshman defenseman Jack Judson was assessed a game misconduct and a five-minute major penalty for a hit in the open ice.

On the play, a Brown defenseman sent a pass into the neutral zone to Bears senior forward Jack Gessert. Judson stepped up just past the blue line while the puck was just about to hit Gessert’s stick, and he laid a hard check on the forward in the open ice.

Although the puck was in Gessert’s vicinity, the referees deemed the play was worthy of an ejection for Judson as a result of contact to the head, and the Devils’ were forced to go on the penalty kill for five minutes.

With hard work and a few miraculous saves from sophomore goaltender Evan DeBrouwer, ASU killed off the entirety of the five-minute penalty without any damage.

That set up a two-goal lead heading into the third period. However, as has been the case all season, the final 20 minutes wasn’t easy to close out.

Just over five minutes into the final frame, Brown senior forward Brent Beaudoin put home a loose puck in front of the ASU net, making it a 2-1 score with plenty of time left.

The Bears put on a push, but the Sun Devils weathered the storm the rest of the way. Junior forward Fil Buncis added an empty-netter with one minute left in the game, and that put a bow on a victory.

The win also made ASU’s record 12-0-1 when entering the third period with a lead. Now tomorrow is when the Sun Devils will look to do their damage, as they try to sweep an opponent for the first time since early November.