(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State (5-9-0) fell to RPI (9-6-3) on Friday night by a score of 5-1 as the Engineers skated all over the Sun Devils.
Heckling fans packed into Houston Field House as the RPI Engineers showed their NCAA experience by controlling the game in nearly all aspects.
ASU found itself in a 2-o hole at the end of the first period and could never climb out of it, scoring only once late in the third period.
RPI started off strong in the first period , netting two goals in a span of 15 seconds. Soon after, the Sun Devils found themselves with 5-on-3 power play opportunity but failed to convert.
Arizona State finished the night going 1 for 4 on power plays and a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill.
Rensselaer dominated the shots on goal total, outshooting the Sun Devils 45-24.
LISTEN: ASU head coach Greg Powers discusses the 5-1 loss to RPI
Ryland Pashovitz was given the start in net, despite being out last week with an illness. Pashovitz allowed five goals on an onslaught of slots from RPI.
“I think he’s played a lot better than he did tonight, but he was fighting the puck pretty good,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said.
Along with the high shot total from the home team, the Engineers showed why they are the No. 3 team in the nation in blocked shots, getting in front of 15 Sun Devils shot attempts.
Physicality played a big role in this game, and the Sun Devils found themselves getting outmatched for a majority of the contest.
“That was probably the hardest working team we’ve played, ” Powers said. “I don’t think we won any puck battle until the last ten minutes of the game.”
The Sun Devils were plagued by a number of turnovers in their own zone, along with failure to keep the puck on their sticks.
“I actually thought our defense as a core was probably the worse game they’ve played all year,” Powers said. “They were just very shaky and were bobbling pucks.”
On an individual note, freshman forward Jordan Masters kept his point steak going, extending it to nine games with an assist on Joey Ratts’ goal in the third period.
The two teams will play each other tomorrow night in the second and final game of the series. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. local time and 5 p.m in Arizona.