(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
In the seventh of nine straight games against ranked opponents to open the season, Arizona State once again struggled and lost their third consecutive game by a score of 7-0.
ASU did not show many signs of improvement after being outscored 11-3 by Northeastern in two games last weekend.
“100% effort,” head coach Greg Powers said regarding the cause of the loss. They’re old, experienced, and have had a lot of success in the last few years. They have a really good thing going and a good program. We knew how good they were going to be, but it’s just a matter of will and you can’t be so fragile when you get scored on and go down one of two goals.”
“They don’t want it as bad as these elite teams, and you can just see it. The puck battles, the races to the puck, not staying on the defensive side of the puck. It’s all defensive stuff that can be fixed with sheer heart and will.”
No. 13 Harvard came into Gila River Arena having not played a game all season, but if there was any rust, it didn’t show.
A slow offensive start in the first period from both sides was erased when the Crimson scored two goals within a minute and a half of each other, starting at the 17-minute mark of the period. Tyler Moy and Lewis Zerter-Gossage snuck even strength and power play goals respectively past freshman goalie Joey Daccord.
It was an early penalty from Jake Montgomery that got ASU into more trouble than they would have liked, but it was Robbie Baillargeon’s eighth penalty of the season that ended up leading to the power play goal.
The Sun Devils had the same amount of power play chances in the period, but failed to cash in either time. Junior goalie Merrick Madsen made eight total saves in the first 20 minutes.
Daccord’s troubles only worsened as the second period whirled through. The Crimson showed why they won 19 games last season by tacking on three more, which essentially put the nail in the coffin of the Sun Devils. Daccord’s defense didn’t help him out much, as the freshman faced 12 shots on goal during the period.
Powers opted to lift Daccord at the start of the third period in favor of sophomore Ryland Pashovitz, who had only played one game prior to Friday night.
“He let in five tonight, those were on him,” Powers said about Daccord’s struggles. “We have got to shore it up back there and find some consistency and we just don’t have it right now.”
Baillargeon’s second penalty of the game led to Ryan Donato’s second goal of the game. Donato scored both on the power play and penalty kill in the game.
A late goal by Harvard put a damper on an otherwise decent period in net from Pashovitz.
ASU failed to generate any sort of offense throughout the night and made it easy on Mason, who earned the shutout without having to make too many particularly difficult saves. They ended up being outscored 35-19.
For the first time all season, Powers failed to find any sort of positives in the defeat.
“They (Harvard) came in high flying and ready to go,” he said. “It was their first game of the season, they had a couple of exhibitions, but they were ready to go and our guys weren’t, and you could see it. I chalk that up a lot to experience and really good team with veteran leadership.”
The Sun Devils are now 1-2-0 at home and will play their first game of the season at their former full-time home, Oceanside Ice Arena, on Saturday. The game will be streamed live on Twitter.