All good things must come to an end.
After seven consecutive weeks atop the ACHA rankings, the No. 1 ASU hockey team sustained a 6-3 loss to No. 5 Oklahoma on Thursday night and will likely drop the Sun Devils (25-5 ACHA) from the top spot. How far they fall will be determined Friday morning when the official rankings are released.
Oklahoma (16-8-4 ACHA) started the game well, scoring the first two goals of the game. ASU answered back with two goals in the last minute of the first period.
Both traded shots in the second period and netted a goal apiece.
Entering the third period tied at three, it looked like the Sun Devils could be headed toward their fourth straight overtime.
Then it all fell apart.
“Our defense was struggling making the simple pass and not turning the puck over,” ASU coach Greg Powers said. “You cannot make those mistakes against top five teams, or they will beat you.”
Oklahoma scored three times in the third period, two of which were unassisted and came off turnovers.
The nail in the coffin was when Sooners freshman defenseman Mason Miller snuck a shot past ASU junior goaltender Joseph D’Elia’s ear with 6:34 remaining in the game. The oddity of the play was that Miller shot it seemingly from the goal line at an angle that D’Elia apparently couldn’t see it.
The Sun Devils have not been playing the brand of hockey that they were playing early in the season. They barely escaped Liberty and Stony Brook last weekend, and Oklahoma caught up to them Thursday night.
“We have some time to figure it out,” Powers said. “We’re going to figure it out quick, because (Central Oklahoma) is a good team and they come in tomorrow night.”
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