(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State entered the weekend supremely confident that it could earn its first ever sweep over a Division I NCAA team.
Despite holding multiple leads, the Sun Devils could not hang on, falling to Colgate 3-2 on a game-winning third period goal by Derek Freeman.
The previous game was decided by one goal, and Saturday’s contest brought more of the same tight intensity. The end result of the seesaw affair gave ASU its first winning streak of multiple games this season.
“I don’t think we deserved to win tonight,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “They outworked us really from start to finish. The last eight games, we’ve averaged just over seven penalty minutes against a game. We spoke about discipline and that’s what has really turned the corner for us. Tonight from the get-go we just didn’t play disciplined. Dumb penalties, zone penalties, penalties behind the linesmen, things that just didn’t need to happen.
Powers opted to start Ryland Pashovitz for the second straight night, and although he got the loss, he still delivered a valiant effort. It didn’t help his case that the ASU got outshot 27-15. They were only able to generate five total shots in the final two periods.
Wade Murphy got ASU going with a first period goal, giving the Sun Devils the spark that the first line was counted on to give.
Jake Montgomery was a part of the goal, one of his two assists on the night. He had zero points in 11 games entering play.
Newly minted alternate captain Anthony Croston tacked on a second period goal that gave ASU its final lead of the night. It was the first goal of the season for the sophomore.
Physicality played a big role in the series, with the teams even getting in a scuffle after the game.
“I think we matched their physicality,” Powers said. “They had more will. That team blocked so many shots and they really clogged things up. We couldn’t get many pucks through.”
It took until the end of the second period for the Raiders to counter the Sun Devils, but Tim Harrison’s power play goal changed the tide of the game.
Freeman tacked on the game-winner with a little bit over 10 minutes remaining in the third. The go-ahead goal also came on a power play.
Colton Point and the Raiders overcame a last minute rush after ASU removed Pashovitz, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.
With the loss, the Sun Devils are now 4-13 while Colgate is 4-9-4.
Powers knows his team is on the verge of a sweep, but he is looking for more consistent play.
“It was a winnable game if we play the right way,” he said. “I think our guys got away from what works for us, and that is getting pucks behind D, and good on the forecheck, and a lot of 1-on-1 stuff. It just didn’t work out for us.”
1st: Derek Freeman (one goal)
2nd: Brett Corkey (one goal, three shots)
3rd: Jake Montgomery (two assists)