The Arizona State Sun Devils (4-4) emerged from their trip to upstate New York with a series split against the Colgate Raiders (5-2). ASU lost Friday by a score of 8-3 before rebounding on Sunday with a 4-3 win in overtime.
Freshman forward Josh Doan led the Sun Devils in scoring during the series with three goals, followed closely by senior forward Jack Becker, who had two. ASU’s power play continued its streak of excellent performances, going 4-14 (28%) in the series.
Senior goaltender Ben Kraws made 29 saves on 32 shots in the Sun Devils’ game two win, while sophomore Cole Brady had a performance to forget in game one, allowing six goals on 22 shots before being pulled for Kraws.
The series encapsulated ASU’s lack of consistency to this point in the season. The Sun Devils led after the first period in each game, but quickly relinquished the lead in both, giving up five consecutive goals in the second period of game one and conceding two straight in the middle period of game two.
ASU’s habit of getting off to slow starts also came back to haunt them in game one, as Colgate was able to score a shorthanded goal four minutes into the action that forced ASU to chase the game. The Sun Devils managed to correct the issue and got off to a strong start in the second game, but their continued struggles at the beginning of games remain a legitimate concern nonetheless.
In addition to blown leads and early-game struggles, the Colgate series also illustrated ASU’s difficulties playing on the road. The Sun Devils are 1-3 and have a -10 goal differential away from Oceanside Ice Arena, as opposed to a 3-1 record and +8 goal differential at home. The Sun Devils have been better at home than on the road ever since they became an NCAA program, but the difference has been especially stark this season.
With a .500 record and 28 games still remaining on their schedule, the Sun Devils have no reason to panic, but they have yet to maintain the high level of play that they have managed to reach on occasion. At their best, the Sun Devils can contend with the best teams in the nation. It is only a matter of whether they can hit their stride and keep on running. ASU returns home to Oceanside to take on the St. Thomas Tommies (1-7) on Oct. 29 and 30 with a chance to pad their record and just maybe build some momentum.