No. 11 Arizona State (22-10-3) was on the wrong side of a barn burner at Wisconsin on Friday night, as the Sun Devils fell to the Badgers by a final of 7-6 in Madison.
With a lot of speed and skill on the ice, both teams were thrust into a wide open affair that was full of back and forth action.
The first period alone combined for four goals, as ASU struck first on a one-time shot from sophomore defenseman Josh Maniscalco.
After throwing the opening punch, Wisconsin would respond, however. Badger sophomore forward Roman Ahcan lit the lamp twice in less than a minute, and he was far from done with his work on the night.
ASU was dealt the blow, but they once more had an answer. Sophomore forward Johnny Walker fired a shot into the goal on a cross-ice feed from junior forward James Sanchez to tie the score at two.
That's a baaaaad man to leave alone on your back doorstep. ⚠️— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) February 22, 2020
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Wisconsin heavily outshot the Sun Devils in the opening frame, but ASU still found a way to head into the locker room knotted at two.
The pace wouldn’t slow down from there, either. Both teams deposited two more goals in the second and that set the stage for a rollercoaster of a third period.
In the final 20 minutes, junior defenseman Gvido Jansons popped home a goal off a juicy rebound on a shot from Walker, making the score 5-4. However, it would be taken right back courtesy of two strikes from Badger freshman forward Alex Turcotte and junior forward Ty Pelton-Byce.
Turcotte, who was the No. 5 overall pick by the Los Angeles Kings in this past summer’s NHL Draft, ended the night with two goals and an assist.
Nevertheless, ASU wasn’t done fighting. At the 12:22 mark, senior defenseman and captain Brinson Pasichnuk kept his four-game goal streak in tact by netting a power play goal to even things at six.
The back-breaker, though, would come with 1:09 remaining in the third. Ahcan, who started the night off with Wisconsin’s first two goals, put home a game-winner with just over a minute left to seal the home ice victory for Wisconsin.
Are you not entertained? pic.twitter.com/qNFGsXOHCx— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) February 22, 2020
In a game that was full of up and down hockey, the Badgers came out on top. Wisconsin outshot ASU 38-22, and Ahcan had a five-point night, including a hat trick.
The Sun Devils are now in need of a pivotal comeback effort to try and seal off a shot at reaching the NCAA Tournament.
A Wisconsin sweep on Saturday could spell trouble in the PairWise Rankings for ASU, and a resilient effort will be needed to try and pull off the all-important win on the Badgers’ senior night.