After a 4-0 shutout win on Saturday, the (16-2) Sun Devils ended the New York road series against No. 6 Stony Brook in a 6-3 loss.
In the first match-up, ASU sophomore goaltender Robert Levin earned his fourth shutout of the season. On Sunday, they carried that momentum into the first period of the second game, going up 3-0 before allowing six unanswered goals. With a few weeks left before the winter break, there are some lessons to be learned from this weekend:
The Power Play Needs Work
Despite the overall success of the ASU offense this season, they have left a number of goals on the ice. The power play unit has been a weak link on this team, making some games a lot closer than they could have been. In the loss against Stony Brook, the Sun Devils were one-for-seven. More importantly, they allowed a short-handed goal that was a turning point in the game.
McGovern is the Man from the Point
With his second two-goal game in as many weekends, defenseman Ed McGovern has been a welcome addition to the Arizona State attack. Armed with a powerful slap shot, he has found great recent success shooting from near the blue line. He is now the Sun Devils’ leading scoring defender, with six goals and four assists. Coach Greg Powers will need McGovern to continue to contribute offensively as an added threat to the already strong attack.
The Crease Needs to be Cleared
Against Stony Brook, the puck could have taken a few bounces that would have benefited Arizona State, but a good amount of the Seawolves’ goals came from shots from the blue line. Levin seemed to have trouble with deflections and finding the puck. The Sun Devils need to find ways to push brawnier opponents out of the crease and clear up room for their goaltender to operate. If they can successfully prevent deflections and long shots, they have arguably the best goalie in the ACHA in between the pipes.
The Sun Devils’ next game is Nov. 13 against Minot State. You can catch the live broadcast at http://www.cronkitesports.com/live-broadcasts. The puck drops at 7:30 MST.
You can reach Christian on Twitter @ChrisJCoates23