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ASU Hockey: No. 12 Sun Devils battle against Colorado College, earn shutout victory

Arizona State go unbeaten in series in Colorado Springs

Colgate v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — No. 12 Arizona State (11-3-2) went on the road for the second time this season for a matchup against Colorado College (7-6-1) and came away with a 2-2 draw Friday and a 2-0 win Saturday. Because of NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey rules, the 2-2 score at the end of the overtime period goes down as a tie despite the Sun Devils winning in the subsequent shootout. The Sun Devils went 1-0-1 in the series and brought their road record to 1-1-2 on the season.

Friday: Arizona State 2, Colorado College 2 — OT

After three rugged regulation periods against the Tigers, the two teams played free hockey at Ed Robson Arena Friday night. With the game tied at two apiece, not one shot found the back of the net in two overtime periods. With the game going the full length, the ruling would be a tie, giving the Sun Devils their second tie on the road this year.

In the shootout that followed, Arizona State pulled out the shootout victory. The physical game produced 14 penalties between the two squads totaling 28 minutes with a man advantage in three periods.

After a one-goal advantage in the first period for Colorado College, ASU responded by taking the lead with two scores in the second.

Senior forward Benji Eckerkle buried the puck off the break from a slick pass from freshman forward Kyle Smolen. Smolen batted the cross-crease feed from a bouncing saucer pass in a highlight reel goal to get the Devils going.

Nearing the end of the second period with the Sun Devils on a man advantage, graduate student forward Tyler Gratton cleaned up a rebound in front with 5:19 remaining in the period.

The Tigers responded with a quick goal in the third period to even up the game and despite four opportunities on the power play, ASU couldn’t find the goal to give them the lead in the final period of regulation. ASU was 1-3 on the power play Friday, killing seven power plays in the undisciplined performance.

Saturday: Arizona State 2, Colorado College 0

Junior goaltender TJ Semptimphelter’s performance was stellar in Friday night’s game having faced 32 shots in five total periods and only allowing two goals. His showing on Saturday was even better.

Despite being outplayed in all facets of the game besides the number of goals, Semptimphelter was a major reason why the Sun Devils came away with the win. Semptimphelter faced 38 shots en route to his third shutout of the season and eighth of his career, tying the program record.

The pressure from the Tigers continued to build in the game. Semptimphelter saw eight shots in the first period, 14 in the second and 18 in the final period. Colorado College put ten shots on net while on the power play; none got past the ASU net-minder.

Arizona State’s offense was more about quality than quantity with only 14 shots on net in the contest.

Midway through the first period, senior forward Alex Young got around a Tiger defender and powered his way to the net. The San Jose Sharks seventh-round pick in 2020 brought the puck to his forehand after a strong backhand move and slid the puck in to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.

The second ASU goal came at the beginning of the second period while on the penalty kill. Sophomore forward Ryan Alexander was aggressive on a mishandled face off win from Colorado College which led him to a breakaway chance. The Toronto native capitalized with a snapshot to double the Sun Devils lead on the road.

That was all Semptimphelter needed as he began to heat up in the third period. This was Semptimphelter’s fourth-straight 30-plus-save performance.

Arizona State will return to Mullett Arena to take on Ivy league opponent Dartmouth at 7 p.m. MST on Friday, Dec. 8 with the second game at 5 p.m. MST on Saturday, Dec. 9.