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McAuliffe answers in overtime

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The Sun Devils closed out their weekend series against Stony Brook with a 5-4 overtime thriller.

It was the third consecutive night that the Sun Devils were forced into overtime, with the previous two games ending in shootouts. Forward Danny McAuliffe secured the team’s third consecutive win just two minutes into the overtime period when he went top shelf on a breakaway goal. Freshman Stephen Collins set up the breakaway after blocking a slap shot in the defensive zone.

“It felt good. It’s kind of a bummer to get into overtime in the first place especially three nights in a row. I’m getting too old for all of this hockey, but it was nice to get the W,” McAuliffe said.

The Sun Devil offense was stagnant through the first two periods, in large part because of the stellar play of Stony Brook goaltender Brendan Jones. However, in the third period the team picked apart the netminder and erupted for four goals.

“We had a really good third period,” head coach Greg Powers said. “I don’t think we were really that bad in first and second, but we weren’t getting any bounces. The guys just kept at it, they didn’t give up, they came back, and it was a good team win.”

Stony Brook got on the board just five minutes into the game. Forward Ryan Cotcamp received the puck after a face off in ASU’s defensive zone and was able to score on a slap shot that was deflected into the net.

Twelve minutes into the period both teams got into a scuffle, which resulted in Stony Brook defenseman Andrew Balzafiore being ejected from the game. This gave the Sun Devils a man-advantage for five minutes but they were unable to capitalize on it. With five minutes remaining in the period, Stephen Collins netted a goal, but it was waived off because McAuliffe was called for goaltender interference in the crease. Stony Brook went into the first intermission leading 1-0.

The Seawolves then kicked off the second period with an early breakaway goal by forward Eddie Montgomery. ASU had two power play chances but they could still not find the back of the net. Jones made save after save in the period, and was the main reason the Seawolves led 2-0 going into the final period. The physical play from his defense also helped SBU secure a two goal lead heading into the final period.

The Sun Devils finally took advantage of the power play five minutes into the third period. Forward Stephen Collins fed it to Danny McAuliffe who scored on a quick wrist shot in the slot. Two minutes later, Brian Parson tied the game up on a centering feed that deflected off Jones’ skate and in the back of the net.

Stony Brook then answered with a power play goal of its own at 6:15 when Cassano one-timed the puck into the net off of a pass from Cacciotti. A minute later, the Sun Devils countered when for Brian McGinty found the net to tie it at 3-3.

Only thirty seconds later, Cotcamp five-holed D’Elia to regain the lead for the Seawolves. McGinty then added a second goal at 3:56 with a beautiful spin around backhand shot tying the game at four apiece. ASU had a power play to with a little over two minutes left to play, but they were unable to score, which sent the game into overtime.

“It was kind of a roller coaster, but we have a lot of confidence on our bench… Everybody stayed pretty composed. I think we all knew that we could get the job done. We just had to put forth the effort,” McAuliffe said.

Finally McAuliffe spared the Sun Devils another night of shootouts by hitting the game winner in overtime.

The Sun Devils will return to the ice on January 17th when they host Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma University for a three-game home stand.

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