(Photo: Amanda Luberto/WCSN)
Arizona State finished off the San Diego State University Aztecs on Saturday with a score of 6-5. In a game with a total of 44 penalty minutes, 3 no goals, 2 game misconducts and 1 huge comeback for the Sun Devils, the Division II Elite team brought a game to Oceanside Ice worth watching.
The first period started with some disorganization by both teams. San Diego State began the game with a 5-minute penalty on defensemen Brandon Nevarez for elbowing, but Arizona State wasn’t far behind when Kevin Hanlon received a 2-minute minor penalty less than 3 minutes later. Unhappy with a penalty called against him, SDSU’s John Riley was sent off ice for a 10-minute misconduct.
San Diego State built upon known Sun Devil mistakes and techniques and played more impressive in this game than Friday night. The Aztecs improved their defense and expanded on the momentum of an ASU no goal by scoring half way into the first period. Forward Cameron Davis hit the back of the net with 9:44 remaining, giving SDSU the lead for the first time in the series.
Arizona State built energy, but suffered another no-goal on a kicked puck. Despite the pressure to score, the Sun Devils’ consistent lack of players in front of the net made it difficult to make it on the board. Rob Wood changed this pattern by passing a perfect set up to Ryan Mohr, who scored with 2:03 left.
The Sun Devil lead wouldn’t last for long. Danny Koressel hit one past ASU goalie Corey Frank to bring a close to the first period.
The Aztecs felt the heat of the referees in the beginning of the 2nd period when Alec Cristoff and Vincient DiMaggio both received 2-minute penalties early on. Arizona State quickly followed when James Iwaszkwi sat in the penalty box for 2 minutes on an interference call. Coda Engbar was escorted off the ice in a game disqualification with 12:21 left.
San Diego State University capitalized on the general confusion of the Sun Devil’s DII Elite team and the continuous penalties by keeping the lead when Justin Tutag made the score 3-1.
Arizona State scored the next two goals and picked up the momentum again in the game. Brady Morgan and captain Justin Havriliak brought those points to the board for the Sun Devils. Eric Stelnick snatched the lead back for the Aztecs just before the 2nd period ended, leaving it a 4-3 score.
With 1st string goalie Kyle Dietriech on the ice in the beginning of the 3rd, Arizona State appeared to gain confidence. Sophomore Charlie Edson got one past the SDSU defense to tie it up in his second game of the season. This goal brought significantly more energy to the game for the Sun Devils. A goal and penalty combination came to both teams, evening it out until Brady Morgan took the lead for the Sun Devils for the final time. ASU won it 6-5.
You can reach Amanda Luberto on Twitter @Amanda_Luberto or at email@example.com