Freshman goaltender Cole Brady was stout in net on Saturday, helping Arizona State (6-15-3) earn a 1-1 tie against No. 8 Michigan (13-8-1).
Brady made 41 saves and kept one of the most potent offensive lineups in the country from lighting the lamp for most of the night.
“I felt good and it was against a really good team in Michigan and they are having a fantastic year,” Brady said. “It’s definitely something to build towards and it’s definitely one of my better games this year. I’m glad it turned out the way it did and I’m going to keep building on it and move on.”
Brady, who had been dealing with mono throughout the winter months, seems to finally be settling into a groove after a rocky start. He’s started the last six games for the Sun Devils, including two exhibitions against the U-18 U.S. National Development Program.
The illness took a toll on his physical game, and it wasn’t known how long it was in his system. Now fully refreshed and back at full health, ASU has been seeing the New Jersey Devils draft pick that they grew so fond of while recruiting him.
“He’s himself. We don’t know how long he had mono before we detected it,” said head coach Greg Powers. “He wasn’t himself for a long time and you could see it in practice. That’s where you gain the confidence in yourself, but most importantly as a goalie you gain the confidence of your teammates by being really tough to score on in practice. When he was struggling, he was struggling in practice and that was translating to games. Ever since he’s been back he’s been unbelievable in practice...This kid, he’s going to be a hell of a goalie and win us a ton of games.”
As for the lone Sun Devil goal, senior forward and captain Dom Garcia registered his second goal in four games. Garcia now has as many goals in his last four games as he has in the last two seasons.
For a player and leader that is known for his physical play and penalty killing, Garcia’s embracing the moment in his senior campaign.
He continues to find success and goals around the cage and the blue paint, as his goal on Saturday came by creating traffic and a net front presence.
Like I said, Dom heard it was senior night. pic.twitter.com/wsjRIAIkvN— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) February 28, 2021
“Right now I’m just glad I’m contributing in a different way other than hitting and PK,” Garcia said with a chuckle. “It’s kind of nice so I’ll take it.”
Garcia’s goal came late in the second period, but it was short lived. Just 23 seconds later, Michigan tied it on a goal from Jack Becker. That set the stage for a hard-fought third period and overtime before both teams eventually settled for a tie on senior night.
Michigan outshot ASU and controlled most of the offensive zone time by a large 42-13 margin, but the Sun Devils capitalized on their opportunities and tightened down defensively to earn the tie with the Wolverines.
Michigan was also 0-for-7 on the power play this weekend. Along with Brady’s stellar effort between the pipes, ASU was able to hold a high-powered and highly-skilled Michigan team to just one goal.
Even for someone who hates ties and has called them “un-American” in the past, Powers liked how his team competed.
“Our guys really played hard. They played hard. They defended hard,” Powers said. “I don’t think anyone would ever hear me say this but that’s a really good tie.”