(Photo: Matt Harden/WCSN)
It was a long but satisfying night for the ASU D2 Maroon hockey team as they battled from behind to defeat the Cal State Northridge Matadors 3-2 in a shootout.
Mike Cullen went top shelf in the fifth round of the shootout before ASU goaltender Matt Inglis denied CSUN’s John Blascoe to seal the victory.
“The goalie started to recognize we were going down, so I just decided to make the move. As a group, we were playing well all game,” Cullen said.
For Inglis, tonight marked his second start of the season and first at home. Inglis was also in net for the 3-2 shootout victory at NAU.
“I was off to a little bit of a rough start,” Inglis said. “(In) the second period, it all came together.”
A sluggish first period saw the Sun Devils out-shoot the Matadors 17-11 but fall behind 1-0 on a goal by Cameron Rorick just 2 minutes in. Rorick took a feed from his teammate Blascoe, wrapped around the goal, and put the puck past the left pad of Inglis.
ASU would answer in the second when confusion ensued in front of the Northridge net. The puck bounced between players until it landed on the stick of ASU forward Marcus Velasco, who evened the score on his fourth goal of the season.
Matadors defenseman Bradley Payne would put his team back in the lead at 2-1 before ASU’s Jake Savona leveled it back up at two in the third.
A stalemate in the overtime period led to a shootout. Mason Teuber scored in the second round for ASU before CSN’s Alex Reints tallied one in the third frame to send it to sudden death. It was in that fifth round that Cullen beat CSN goalie Brandon Kalvoda to give the Devils the lead for good.
It wasn’t the first time ASU Maroon had to come from behind to get a victory. They did the same against Weber State at home and versus NAU on the road.
“It’s nice that we have that kind of resiliency, but I sure don’t want to make a habit of being in that situation,” said ASU coach Tait Green.
The Sun Devils are now 6-0 on the season and will take on the same Northridge team Sunday at 12:40 p.m. at home.