(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
One week after a pair of ACHA victories, the Arizona State Sun Devils once again found themselves in the loss column with a trio of defeats in road games against No. 8 UMass-Lowell and Merrimack. The three contests closed out the Division I slate for ASU this season. The Sun Devils still have six games remaining this season, four exhibition games and two against a Division III opponent.
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UMass-Lowell 4, Arizona State 1
Playing against another top ten opponent, the Sun Devils just could not compete with the River Hawks, who scored four consecutive goals after ASU took the early lead.
Freshman Ryan Stevens was responsible for the only goal from the visitors, his fourth of the season. Garrett Peterson and Anthony Croston were credited with assists, meaning this contest was one of the rare games in which the Sun Devils scored and Jordan Masters did not earn a point.
It took just 23 seconds for the River Hawks to respond to tie the game, and just over three minutes later they took the lead for good. They padded their lead with two power play goals, one in the first period and the other in the second. Adam Chapie, A.J. White and C.J. Smith all had a goal and as assist for UMass-Lowell.
Robert Levin struggled in net, allowing all four of the River Hawks’ goals in the first 23 minutes of the game. He was removed for David Jacobson, who continued his impressive play, making 20 saves without allowing a goal. Altogether, the Sun Devils were outshot 37-20.
UMass-Lowell 8, Arizona State 1
The Sun Devils had a chance to steal one in game two, but it did not go according to plan, with the River Hawks doubling their total goals scored from the first game. ASU managed to score a goal for the second consecutive game after going scoreless in the four NCAA games prior to this weekend.
Once again, ASU was able to get the first goal of the game, this time off the stick of Anthony Croston. However, the River Hawks scored twice after that in the first period and then three times in both the second and third periods to seal the win.
C.J. Smith scored a hat trick to bring his season total up to 13 and Jake Kamrass added two goals. Kamrass had four total points in the game.
ASU could not figure out the winning formula in goal after starting freshman Ryland Pashovitz. He surrendered five goals in two periods. Jacobson couldn’t repeat his performance from the previous night, as he allowed three goals in the third period in relief of Pashovitz.
Despite the losses, ASU won’t be hanging its head for too long. Head coach Greg Powers said earlier this month that this team knows this simply isn’t their year to compete, so the tough challenges against teams like the River Hawks will only make them stronger and more experienced.
Merrimack 10, Arizona State 0
The most lopsided loss of the season for ASU came on Sunday at the hands of the Merrimack College Warriors.
The Warriors, who entered the game with a less than impressive 8-14-5 record, easily handled ASU from start to finish to extend the Sun Devils’ NCAA losing streak to 16 games.
Pashovitz made his second start in as many days and lasted just one period, in which he allowed five goals. Levin finished off the game for him, but he also allowed five goals, albeit over two periods.
ASU just could not seem to stay out of the penalty box. The team committed a whopping 12 penalties in the game which forced it to be shorthanded for 32 minutes. As a result, the Sun Devils allowed five power play goals.
Merrimack was able to strike early and often. Its first goal came just 38 seconds into the first period. Derek Petti, Chris LeBlanc and Mathieu Tibbet led the way for them, netting two goals each. Meanwhile, Petti and Brett Seney each had three assists. The Sun Devils were on the complete other side of the offensive spectrum, attempting just 21 shots without a goal to show for it.
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ASU will have a chance for a victory in its final NCAA games of the season at home next weekend against Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire.