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ASU Hockey: Arizona State falls to Connecticut in Desert Hockey Classic consolation game

(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)

The Devils just can’t seem to best the Husky.

Between St. Cloud State and Connecticut, four out of their last five games, spare the Bulldogs of Yale, have been against Huskies.

Each coming with the same result.

Arizona State (5-17-0) fell to Connecticut (7-13-1) 3-0 in the consolation game of the Desert Hockey Classic. The match-up was the third meeting of the season between the two teams, the Huskies having won all three by a combined score of 13-2.

“We had every opportunity to take the lead, get momentum and play downhill,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “We didn’t take it.”

Forward Patrick Kirtland has scored three goals in his last two games, including two against Arizona State the last time the two teams met in Tempe on Tuesday.

From the get go, opportunities came in abundance for both teams. The two sides amassed 22 total shots on goal in the first period; yet, due to stellar goalie play from both sides, neither team could find the back of the net.

Arizona State’s Ryland Pashovitz totaled 13 saves, while Connecticut’s Rob Nichols amassed nine. Pashovitz got the nod in Friday’s game as well, and while he was credited with the loss, totaled 40 saves.

He finished the tournament with a total of 62 saves, including 26 tonight.

“He’s unbelievable,” ASU senior captain Jordan Young said. “He’s the best player on our team, he’s the only reason why we’re kind of positive about where we’re at right now.”

However, the tide would turn in favor of the Huskies roughly nine minutes into the second period after forward Joey Ferriss would break the seal via his 11th career goal. Kirtland was credited with the assist, alongside defenseman Kyle Huson.

The assist gave Kirtland his fourth point in three games, three of which coming at the hands of the Sun Devils.

While the Devils only found themselves down a man twice in the second, the Huskies were able seize the advantage the first chance they got.

UConn forward Shawn Pauly would net his third shot of the game, on just the first Huskies power play of the contest.

The Sun Devil defense played an admirable third period, only allowing seven shots on goal and just one score on Ferriss’ second goal of the night.

Arizona State finished fourth in its first Division I tournament and is currently riding a ten game losing streak. While it is the team’s inaugural season, losing is starting to weigh on this team’s morale.

“It sucks losing, everybody’s just bummed out,” Young said. “I think it’s just a matter of how we deal with it and realizing that one win and turn into two and trying to get that one win any way we can.”

On offense, Arizona State finished with just 32 total shots on goal for the weekend. The team didn’t score in either game.

“Same old story, miss a couple breakaways, a couple two-on-ones, a tap-in on the back door there, we just can’t score,” Powers said.

While the team is young and the difficulties of playing the nation’s premier teams are beginning to take their toll, Powers wants to make sure his players know that while playing at this level is a grind night in and night out, the production isn’t going to come without grit.

“It’s gonna hurt at this level,” Powers said. “When you go to that dirty area they’re gonna make you feel it, we just have to keep drilling into these kid’s heads that as soon as that red light comes on and you put that puck in the net, that pain goes away.”

The Devils will hit the road on Jan. 15 to play two games against Bemidji State in Minnesota.

You can contact Colton Dodgson via e-mail or on Twitter @DodgsonColton

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