The top ranked Sun Devils out lasted No. 7 Oakland Grizzlies last night by winning in the fourth round of shootouts.
With the win, ASU remained the only undefeated team in the ACHA with a perfect 14-0 record.
The game was the first time both teams had met since last year’s playoffs, in which Oakland ousted ASU by a score of 3-2. But ASU was able to flip the script this time when forward Stephen Collins took Oakland goaltender Corey Hrishcuk top shelf to give the maroon and gold a 2-1 victory in shootouts.
“It was good to get the goal and keep the [winning] streak alive. I just kept faking the shot, and then I shot it to the top,” Collins said.
The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation just like the 2012 Nationals, with forward Kale Dolinski scoring both goals for the maroon and gold. Anthony Coles and Mike Baker scored for Oakland.
“This was our second overtime game this season, and we still feel like no team should take us to overtime,” Powers said.
In the five-minute overtime period, neither team was able to get on the score sheet. Sun Devil goaltender Joe D’Elia had a crucial save at the 4:19 mark to keep his team in it. D’Elia saved 27-out-of-29 shots in regulation.
In the shootouts, Powers chose Dave Jantzie, Faiz Khan, and Colin Hekle as his first three shooters.
“Jantzie and Hekle are always really good shooters. Khan was just a gut feeling,” Powers said.
Both Oakland forward Frank Matyok and ASU’s Jantzie were denied in their initial attempts.
Coles was able to put the puck into the net as the second shooter for the Grizzlies. However, Khan answered right back for the Sun Devils when he snapped a wrist shot past Hrishcuk, making it 1-1.
D’Elia then denied Oakland’s third shooter, which left Hekle with the opportunity to win it for the Sun Devils. Hekle’s attempt was stuffed by Hrishcuk, and the shootouts were sent to sudden death.
Oakland called on forward Richard Hubscher as their fourth shooter, and D’Elia came up with a critical save, as he had done all night.
“I was just trying to keep my head clear. You don’t want to be over thinking it,” D’Elia said. “I just played each shot as it was coming down, and I was able to get to it.”
Collins sent it home and the bench erupted with cheers as ASU was able to finish off Oakland.
“It was a good win. Games like that you just have to take the win and move along,” Powers said “We don’t really focus too much on the rankings. We go game by game and focus on what’s next. I think we’re handling it really well.”
The Sun Devil’s will host Colorado University Friday night at 8 p.m. at Oceanside Ice Arena.