ASU hockey went into Saturday’s matchup against Arizona looking for their 32nd consecutive win against the Wildcats, a streak lasting four years, and that’s exactly what they came out with. The Sun Devils pulled out a 3-1 victory in a closely contested game against the Wildcats.
About midway through the third period, Danny McAuliffe got a rebound on a Dan Styrna shot and put it in the back of net. The Sun Devils went up 2-1 and didn’t look back the rest of the period. Bowen tacked on an empty netter in the final minute to secure the 3-1 victory for the Sun Devils.
ASU controlled the puck and dominated the second period, but Wildcats goaltender Robert Schultz put on a show, turning away shot after shot and fending off Sun Devils’ power play after power play, including two minutes of 5-on-3 play. In his last game as a Wildcat, Schultz played tremendously and finished with 41 saves. However, it wasn’t enough to shut down the Sun Devils in the third period.
If the first period had one theme, it was roughness. The Wildcats and Sun Devils showed just why two rival teams hate each other. There were hits after the whistle and some blows that not everybody was too fond of. This lead to plenty of penalties and the penalties lead to a couple of first period goals.
Wildcats’ freshman defenseman Bryan Drazner got the scoring going for Arizona in their final game of the season on a power play. The Wildcats went up 1-0 for the second night in a row, and for the second night in a row ASU was able to level the score. On Friday, it was freshman Kyle Bowen with a backhanded goal to start the third period, and on Saturday it was Faiz Khan who evened the score, this time just minutes after the Wildcats scored.
This win improved the Sun Devils to 33-7-1, and they will take their no. 2 seed into the ACHA National Tournament. Their next game is Saturday, March 2nd against the winner of the first round matchup between Rutgers and Navy.