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ASU Hockey: Sun Devils can’t capitalize on offense, fall to Michigan State

Scoring struggles

Photo Courtesy: Michigan State Athletics

After an early goal in the first period and another in the third by Michigan State (1-0-1), the Arizona State Sun Devils (0-3-1) couldn’t complete the comeback, ending the night with a 2-0 loss.

Arizona State struggled capitalizing on second chance offensive opportunities Friday night. They struggled on the power play once again, going 0-for-4 as well. However, they were able to be successful once again on the penalty kill.

This is the second time this season that the Sun Devils have been shut out this season, and they only have two goals in four games thus far.

“We started great,” head coach Greg Powers said. “Probably our best 10 minutes of hockey yet. Lots of really good chances. We did everything but finish. Guys have to put the puck in the net. It’s frustrating. I know they are frustrated right now because I thought we played really well tonight and generated some really good chances. It’s just not going in.”

The Sun Devils have been without top scorer and captain Johnny Walker this series, who is out with an injury. Nevertheless, Powers believes that they are still strong offensively. They just need to step up.

“We have to find a way,” Powers said. “We believe in our guys. We believe in what we have. We believe we could’ve come here and gotten out of here with a sweep. I think we played well enough to do it, it just didn’t happen.”

Goaltender Evan DeBrouwer started in net after freshman Cole Brady started the previous two games. He ended the night with a .950 save percentage and 38 saves.

Michael Mattson scored his first career point as a Spartan in his third season with the team, and Mitchell Lewandowski secured the victory in the third period for the Spartans, netting a loose rebound off the pad of Debrouwer for his first goal this season.

This time last year, the Sun Devils were 1-3 after four games. Powers is confident in this program and thinks that they can turn things around as they have in the past.

“This program is built on our adversity,” Powers said. “We knew what we were getting into. We don’t get to go back home and reset. We have to get on the bus tomorrow and go play a really good team in Wisconsin next weekend. We have to stay positive and the guys have to continue to support each other. We’ve been here before. We were here last year and we found a way to climb out and that’s what we plan on doing.”

The Sun Devils will head to Madison to face the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, November 28 at 6 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Arizona.