(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
The Sun Devils can’t get past this stretch of games soon enough.
No. 12 Yale (8-4-2) defeated Arizona State (5-16-0) 4-0 in the first round of the Desert Hockey Classic, the first ever Division I collegiate hockey tournament played in Arizona.
Yale entered the tournament riding a three-game win streak, defeating opponents by a margin of 10-5 in that span.
On the other side, Arizona State has been anything but fortunate as of late.
The Sun Devils have lost their last nine games, six of which were against top-20 teams, managing to score just nine goals throughout the skid.
Adding insult to injury, the team has allowed an average of 5.14 goals per game since earning its first Division I sweep over Clarkson University on Nov. 28.
One step forward, followed by what seems to be a major step backward.
“We’ve decided to schedule really good teams,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “When these kids are all upperclassmen, the process we are going through right now will yield the results.”
From the jump, it looked as though the Devils as of late had skated onto the ice after Yale forward Andrew Gaus netted his third goal of the season, just under two minutes into the game.
Yale’s defense stifled all of Arizona State’s opportunities, holding them scoreless for the remainder of the first period.
Neither team was able to muster up many opportunities in the first, as both clubs combined for just 14 shots in the period.
The Sun Devils entered the tournament 1-11-0 on the season when trailing after the first period.
Yale continued to pour it on through the second, adding two more goals while continuing to hold Arizona State scoreless.
Forwards Frankie DiChiara and John Hayden both scored in the period, increasing the lead to three with only the third remaining.
Yale took 21 shots in the period, while ASU was limited to just three.
ASU goalie Ryland Pashovitz got the nod in front of the net, and regardless of the score, yielded respectable results.
Pashovitz took the loss after allowing four goals on 40 shots, amassing 36 saves.
“It’s always tough to give up an early goal,” Pashovitz said. “We rebounded back pretty quickly and had a pretty good first period I thought after that.”
After a third period in which the Bulldogs increased their lead to four via forward Joe Snivley’s power play goal, the Sun Devils found themselves 5-16-0, slated to take on Connecticut in a match-up for third place on Sunday.
Chris Izmirlian and Hayden both finished with two points on the night for the Bulldogs.
When it was all said in done, Arizona State found itself on the wrong end of a 40-12 shots on goal comparison.
Still, It’s all a part of the process.
“We’re going to have to have a lot of patience this year,” Powers said. “We knew coming in with the schedule that we put together and how quickly that we jumped into this that it was going to be a long year.
“We don’t have a choice other than to be patient with this process and continue to use it to get better.”
Puck drop for Sunday’s consolation game against the UConn Huskies is 3 p.m. at Gila River Arena.