No. 1 ASU hockey bounces back from first loss, beats No. 5 OU 4-2

Video by Justin Emerson

A breakaway, a penalty shot, a tic-tac-toe and an empty-netter. No. 1 ASU hockey found four different ways to score a goal but it was more than the two ways that No. 5 Oklahoma (17-5-3) did, and the Sun Devils avenged Friday night’s loss with a 4-2 win on Saturday.

ASU (25-1-0) trailed heading into the third period, but coach Greg Powers said he wasn’t worried.

“After the second period, there literally wasn’t a guy in our room that didn’t think we were going to win the game,” Powers said. “I think that was the difference between last night and tonight.”

Down 2-1 in the third period and on a long penalty kill after a major penalty, ASU freshman forward Ryan Ostertag was awarded a penalty shot when he was tripped on a breakaway. He didn’t miss.

“I knew exactly what I was doing,” Ostertag said. “I have to give a lot of credit to our goalies because I’ve been working on that move all week.”

Ostertag said even before the penalty shot, the team was confident in winning the game.

“When we took that penalty, there wasn’t any doubt in our minds that we weren’t going to lose that game,” Ostertag said. “Everyone stayed positive and we knew that we were going to take that as a motive for us to somehow squeak the ‘W’ out.”

The first period saw no goals, but plenty of action. It was capped off when ASU senior captain Colin Hekle was called for a cross-check as time expired, a penalty that would prove costly for the Sun Devils.

ASU won the opening faceoff of the second period and freshman defenseman Jarrod Levos tried to clear the puck, instead flinging it into his own bench. The faceoff was placed in ASU’s zone, and the Sun Devils were unable to clear it before OU sophomore defenseman Mason Miller fired a shot from the point.

Miller’s shot screened ASU senior goalie Joe D’Elia and beat him above the blocker for the game’s first goal.

It was the second time in as many games ASU did not score first and both instances came on an OU power play.

The Sun Devils celebrate after a goal to break a 2-2 tie on Saturday, Jan. 11. ASU won 4-2 over Oklahoma.(Photo by Alyssa Pakes) The Sun Devils celebrate after scoring a goal to break a 2-2 tie on Saturday, Jan. 11. ASU won 4-2 over Oklahoma.(Photo by Alyssa Pakes)

The rest of the second period went by without much action until there was 3:54 left. ASU freshman defenseman Alex Temby was called for checking from behind and sent to the box. OU seemingly blew its chance when sophomore forward Derek Tylka joined Temby in the box for a roughing. To open up the ice even further, ASU senior forward Kale Dolinski got called for elbowing to give OU a 4-on-3 advantage.

Three players were in the box, and the action picked up when the first one left. Temby came out of the box, caught and outlet pass from Levos and skated in to tie the game at a goal apiece. Ten seconds after his penalty expired he had scored.

Not to be outdone, Tylka scored 14 seconds after his penalty expired. He left the box, caught an outlet pass and fired a missile from the top of the circle. The puck never came vertically off the ice and slid past D’Elia. It came with 44 seconds left in the period and seven seconds left on Dolinski’s penalty.

Then the third period came.

“I felt like the first period we dictated play, the second period they did and the third, when it mattered most, we came out and played our game,” Powers said.

Ostertag’s penalty shot gave ASU the momentum it needed to start the comeback, and from that point onward the game was all Sun Devils. With 4:16 remaining in regulation, senior forward Danny McAuliffe collected a cross-ice pass from junior forward Liam Norris and slammed it into the net.

“To get a good-movement, good-passing goal felt good,” McAuliffe said. “Last night was a tough loss obviously, ruining our undefeated season. So we wanted to come out here and make sure we came out and got the win tonight to redeem ourselves.”

That was the game-winning goal. Then to put the cherry on top, senior captain Colin Hekle buried an empty-netter with 32 seconds left.

ASU’s next game is Thursday against No. 4 Liberty at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. Puck drops at 8:00 p.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow him on Twitter @J15Emerson

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