ASU men's hockey breaks its losing streak with a 3-1 win over Holy Cross

The Sun Devils out worked Holy Cross for their first official road win

ASU men’s hockey (3-8-2) broke its three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders (5-4-5) in its first match against them in club history. 

This was the Sun Devils first true win on the road as they had only beat Nebraska-Omaha in a shootout prior to this, which did not officially count as a win.

Holy Cross was coming off of a 4-2 loss against Brown University and is now on a two-game losing streak. 

“It’s a good win – it’s a good win against a really good team,” head coach Greg Powers said. “They’re an experienced, old team and like you said, undefeated at home. To come back from being down, we were a little bit sloppy, but we felt like we could control the game if we just played our game.”

The first period was a fairly close battle between the teams, but ASU did have to employ more defense as it had to kill two power plays and went into the second period a man down as well. 

However, ASU was able to kill that penalty as well, seconds before Holy Cross junior defenseman Spencer Trapp scored with assists from senior forwards Scott Pooley and Brett Mulcahy with 13:24 remaining in the second period.

Then, ASU’s redshirt junior forward Louie Rowe was kicked out of the game for contact to the head of sophomore forward Kevin Darrar. The five-minute major he was given was served by freshman forward Johnny Walker.

The Sun Devils were able to kill this penalty and from it, gained the most momentum they had in the second period. 

With less than a minute remaining in the second period, Walker tied the score with an assist from freshman defenseman Jacob Wilson.

This is Walker’s second goal in two games, with the last one being against Penn State last weekend. 

This denied Holy Cross senior goalie Paul Berrafato of another shutout. He is currently second overall in Division 1 hockey in shutouts with three this season.

The Sun Devils ended the second period being outshot only 24-21. A major goal for ASU going into this series was getting more shots on net after they were outshot 98-40 overall last weekend. 

ASU came out strong in the third period and immediately established a commanding presence. 

“Our guys settled in and played an incredibly good third period. Last five minutes of the second were huge with getting that goal and tying it up,” Powers said

Redshirt senior forward David Norris found the back of the net in the third period with assists from sophomore forward Tyler Busch and Wilson. 

Less than two minutes later, Busch scored a goal, with assists from Norris and junior forward Joe Lappin to give ASU a 3-1 lead. 

“Lapp (Lappin) made it go. He was the strongest in this rink – he won every battle. He was just creating space for those two and letting them make plays,” Powers said.

This is also Busch’s third goal in the last two games as well as his fifth of the season. He is now tied with junior defenseman Jakob Stridsberg for the most goals on the team.

ASU has only had a 3-1 lead three times this season, with the last time being their first game against Alabama-Huntsville. 

The Sun Devils played their best hockey of the game in the third period and kept their lead locked down despite Holy Cross being awarded more power plays. 

Holy Cross was 17.3 percent on the power play before tonight, but wasn't able to capitalize on any of its five man-advantage opportunities. 

“The penalty kill was good and when your best penalty killer is your goalie, it’s a good sign and he was tonight,” Powers said

Sophomore goalie Joey Daccord had his fourth consecutive game with 30 or more saves. 

By the end of the game, the Sun Devils tied Holy Cross in shots 31-31. This in itself is a victory for ASU as they have struggled with getting enough shots on net all season, with an average of only 25.1.

The Sun Devils will face Holy Cross again Saturday, Nov. 25 at 5:05 p.m. MST.


Reach the reporter at pburnell@asu.edu or follow @paige_burnell on Twitter.   

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.