ASU men's hockey gets shut out 7-0 by Penn State

The Sun Devils dropped their first game against Penn State and began a two-game losing streak

ASU men’s hockey (2-7-2) was not able to hold up against Pennsylvania State (6-7-0) as it was shutout 7-0 in the first of two games. 

“Sometimes you can’t put a finger on exactly what it is,” head coach Greg Powers said. “The energy and the lack of the attention to detail and getting away from how we have to play. Against a team like that, you just can’t do it.”

Penn State has the highest shot average in Division I hockey with 40.8. It usually keeps opponents, on average, to 28.6 shots, but the Sun Devils did not get that far as they only recorded 15 shots on net by the end of the game. 

“We just couldn’t possess the puck,” Powers said. “They literally just outworked us in every way. I thought there were some really good opportunities that we passed up where we should have put pucks on net.” 

The team kept Penn State's offense at bay for the first period, but could not generate much of its own. 

ASU had four power plays in the first period, but could not capitalize on any of those chances. 

The score remained 0-0 until freshman centerman Evan Barratt scored a power play goal with assists from freshman left wing Alex Limoges and senior defenseman Trevor Hamilton with 11 minutes remaining in the second period. 

Then, Penn State got another goal from Barratt, who scored off the rebound with an assist from Hamilton.

“Their two power play goals there in the second — obviously, it hurt.” Powers said.

The second period had some of the Sun Devils’ best chances, which came from the line of junior centerman Anthony Croston, freshman left wing Dominic Garcia and graduate student right wing Gage Hough.

“Honestly, the only two guys I felt like we had tonight were really going were Cro (Croston) and Dom (Garcia),” Powers said. “It’s just a really disappointing effort, and that’s a team that’s really good, and they have a lot more high-end talent than we do. To play as soft as we played is completely unacceptable.”

Sophomore goalie Joey Daccord tallied a lot of great saves, stopping 40 of 47 shots throughout the game. 

“He was great ... he gave us a chance halfway through the game when we were right there,” Powers said. "We were right in it and the guys that aren’t stepping up are the ones that we need to. They need to reset and figure it out.”

There was no turning the game around for ASU in the third period. With 13:04 remaining in the third, Penn State freshman right wing Sam Sternschein got the third goal of the night with an assist from sophomore left wing Brandon Biro.

“At the end of the day, our guys just could not execute,” Powers said. “It was just weird. It was sloppy … it just wasn’t our night. It was an off night and it came at a bad time.”

Biro then got a goal of his own goal with an assist from sophomore centerman Nate Sucese to make the score 4-0 in favor of Penn State.

ASU was scored on again by sophomore centerman Nikita Pavlychev with an assist from sophomore left wing Brett Murray with 5:13 remaining. 

“They caught us from behind. You can’t have guys that are leaders getting caught from behind on breakaways,” Powers said. “Every stick battle, every 50/50 puck we lost ... to me, it makes no sense. We had a week off. We were fresh coming into tonight — we were really good in practice, and the guys were ready to go.”

However, this was not the end of the scoring barrage as senior defenseman Erik Autio scored with assists from Sternschein and Sucese during 4-on-4 play with 1:18 remaining in the third. 

Then, less than a minute later, Sucese scored Penn State’s seventh goal to end the game. 

“We were easy to play against. Everything we did, we made it easy on Penn State and to their credit, they made it hard on us,” Powers said. “We were not the kind of team we needed to be tonight to be successful in any way. We need to be hard, heavy. We need to finish checks, and we were soft — we were soft today.”

The game ended with the Sun Devils being outshot 47-15, and with Penn State junior goalie Chris Funkey getting his first shutout of the season. 

“That’s the best thing about college hockey — you get to go to bed, wake up the next morning, and it’s a new day and we get another crack at them.” Powers said 

ASU will take on Penn State again Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:05 p.m. at Gila River Arena in Glendale.


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.