(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
History repeated on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena: after a frustrating loss, Arizona State hockey returned to the ice and split another series with a second game victory over UMass Lowell.
Not only was it a win, it was also the first shutout for ASU this season.
“I think it’s the best 60 minute effort we’ve had since playing Division-I hockey,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “It’s a huge win for our program against one of the top programs in the country.”
During the entire matchup on Friday, ASU recorded only one penalty.
Powers predicted the team would come out hungry and frustrated, and that held true in the first period of play when ASU racked up three penalties. The penalty kill remained intact, and to top it off, Joey Raats put ASU on the boards first with under a minute left.
The River Hawks outplayed ASU in the prior night’s second period, which is typically when the momentum slows for the Sun Devils. This time, ASU’s performance only strengthened during the middle period, marking one of their best efforts thus far.
Johnny Walker ensured the offensive production would continue into the second by scoring twice in the span of three minutes. Again, with under a minute left in the period, Tyler Busch capitalized on a power play and put ASU up by four.
“We didn’t want to sit back and we wanted to keep building the lead, and that’s what we did,” Powers said.
Lowell attempted to get on the boards in the third and outshot the Sun Devils 13-2. There effort was unsuccessful as goaltender Joey Daccord managed the barrage of desperate pucks.
The defense was also a key component to the success, and Daccord said they did an “unbelievable” job at blocking shots.
Overall, the 4-0 victory was a team effort and it showed that the team can go beyond just bouncing back from a loss.
“We did it in pretty convincing fashion I thought, and it’s just good when our guys have good habits and they play the right way, that’s what can happen,” Powers said.