After a rough first weekend against Michigan, the Arizona State Sun Devils (0-2-1) looked to rebound against Michigan State (0-0-1). Redshirt junior Chris Grando tied things up with four minutes left in the game, sending the game to overtime. However, there was not a shootout after overtime resulting in a tie for both teams.
“I think ties are un-American and I really wish they would let us play the shootout,” head coach Greg Powers said. “They were supposed to and I know the Big Ten was very supportive of us going into shootouts, but for whatever reason the NCAA denied that waiver. We found out about 30 minutes before puck drop.”
Grando’s game-tying goal was his first in a Sun Devil uniform after transferring from Boston College and redshirting last year. The last time he scored was March 22, 2019.
“It was huge,” Grando said. “Big weight off my shoulders after not playing for a while, but our team felt that we were going to score way earlier in that game. It definitely felt really good for us and now we just have to bring it into the second game tomorrow.”
Coach Powers was impressed with the way that his team played Thursday night, especially with shifts in the second and third periods.
“I think a little bit of desperation, knowing that we got off to an 0-2 start and this is a big one,” Powers said. “Obviously we didn’t get the win but now we have a chance to come back tomorrow and take this series and that’s what we want to do.”
Opposite of their series against Michigan, the shot count was pretty even with Michigan State outshooting the Sun Devils 26-23.
The Sun Devils are still struggling on special teams going 1-for-13 on power plays so far this season. They were without captain Johnny Walker, who is dealing with an injury. However, they were successful on the penalty kill with Michigan State going 0-for-3 on the power play.
“You lose the top scorer in the country, you’re going to make a little bit of tweaks. We had some good looks, we had a lot of good looks, but we have to start popping some goals when we get those opportunities on the road,” Powers said.
Freshman goaltender Cole Brady got his second start of the season and put up a .962 save percentage with 25 saves.
The Sun Devils will look to take the series Friday night with puck drop at 4 p.m. MST on Big Ten Network Plus.