(Photo: Briana Peters/WCSN)
“We ripped their ass, and they deserved it.”
ASU head coach Greg Powers was not pleased following his team’s 7-0 loss on Friday. ASU’s effort was better on Saturday, but the Sun Devils still lost 4-2 to Penn State.
What was said by coaches between postgame on Friday and puck drop on Saturday showed on the ice: ASU ultimately fell but took the lead early and brought a newfound physicality throughout.
While PSU had 49 shots on goal both nights, the Sun Devils managed to hold the Nittany Lions to four goals instead of seven. ASU continued to struggle offensively, but increased their shots on goal by ten.
ASU forward Brett Gruber opened the matchup with a goal shortly after puck drop, but by the end of the second period ASU was down by two goals.
Unlike the first game of the series when PSU scored five times in the third, the Sun Devil defense remained intact and forward Tyler Busch found the back of the net halfway through the final period.
With hopes of another goal to knot up the score, ASU goaltender Joey Daccord was pulled from his post. The Nittany Lions still managed a breakaway, putting the Sun Devils down by two and making overtime out of reach.
“We knew tonight that we could come back and win this game and I feel like our guys left everything they had on the ice,” Powers said. “They had a really good heart third period.”
Despite another home sweep, the team showed its capability to improve on mistakes.
Following Friday night’s shutout, Powers said the team left their goaltender out to dry and was unsure if the sophomore would be starting again.
Nevertheless, Daccord returned on Saturday and described the 49 shots he faced as “fun.” He also increased his save percentage to .914 against an offense ranked No. 6 in college hockey.
“He went in and he just kept playing, and he made four or five just ridiculous saves to give us a chance to win,” Powers said.
ASU will head to Massachusets next week for a series with Holy Cross.