Hockey swept on road by No. 1 ASU
No. 17 Arizona (2-0-3) was swept by No. 1 ASU (8-0-0) this weekend in Tempe, Ariz., during a two-game rivalry showdown.
The Sun Devils got their first rivalry win of the 2014-2015 season as they beat the Wildcats on their home ice. However, the last time these teams met up in Tempe, it was the Wildcats who ruined ASU’s senior night, breaking a 37-game Sun Devil winning streak.
Tensions were high on Friday as an early skirmish broke out and led to two Arizona penalties, while ASU had three men sent to the box.
Three different Sun Devils scored as ASU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Arizona. UA sophomore forward Alex O’Dea put one in the net during a power play with assists from Will Pointon and Michael Adamowicz. O’Dea was the only Wildcat to score all weekend and has three goals on the season.
“We need to be a little more disciplined, stay out of the box and try to get more pucks to the net,” O’Dea said. “ASU is a very skilled team, so we need to be able to limit their time and space and cause them to play under constant pressure.”
ASU out-shot Arizona 33-20 to win 4-1 Friday.
On Saturday, the scoring began just 2:30 after the puck dropped as ASU forward Sean Murphy hurled one past Arizona goalie Garrett Patrick. Arizona held the score to 1-0 at the end of the first period after killing a 5-on-3.
“We executed our defensive system, making it very hard for Arizona State to create quality scoring chances,” UA defenseman Brett Fagerheim said. “We focused on keeping our sticks in, passing lanes and bodies in shooting lanes, making sure we are not over-aggressive and protecting the front of the net at all times.”
Arizona was able to keep the puck out of its own net but was not able to keep itself out of the penalty box. The Sun Devils had three power play chances to score against the Wildcats but could not capitalize. Arizona’s penalty kill performed at a high level against one of the best power play teams in the country.
ASU goalie Robert Levin had 17 saves and a second shutout of the season to beat Arizona 3-0. The Sun Devils remains undefeated for the season.
“We are definitely proud of how strong we played defensively,” Captain Shane Gleason said. “Arizona State is as high-powered of an offense that we are going to face, and our defense and goaltending did a great job of containing them.”
Arizona will travel to Oklahoma City this weekend to play against two different top-five teams. The Wildcats start off the weekend by playing against No. 3 Oklahoma on Thursday, before play continues during a two-game series against No. 5 Central Oklahoma on Friday.
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