ASU men’s hockey loses second game to Alabama-Huntsville

The Sun Devils split their series with UAH

ASU men’s hockey (2-6-2) split its series with the University of Alabama-Huntsville (2-6-0) with a 3-1 loss in Saturday’s game against them.

”We’ve come out now – I think in our last three series here at Oceanside against Division I teams and won Friday,” head coach Greg Powers said. “It’s the exact opposite of what we do on the road ... You keep making excuses for a young team that just thinks it’s going to be easy the next day.”

UAH had a very strong start offensively, but the Sun Devils were able to keep Huntsville at bay for the first period of play.

ASU killed a 5-on-3 penalty and trudged through 4-on-4 play, but did not score on their own power-play opportunities. 

“Our penalty kill is starting to come together,” redshirt junior right wing Louie Rowe said. “It all starts with us being willing to block shots.”

The ASU defense blocked 20 shots, which is double the shots UAH blocked.

The team moved into the second period with the score tied at 0-0.

Then, the Sun Devils struck first with a power play goal by sophomore defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk with 13:59 remaining in the second.

”Really, we didn’t earn a lead tonight,” Powers said. “We were very lucky to get a lead and we didn’t capitalize on it.”

Less than two minutes later, UAH responded with a goal by freshman centerman Christian Rajic with assists from junior defensemen Kurt Gosselin and Cam Knight.

After this, a slew of penalties occurred with the final one being another 5-on-3 power play for Huntsville. 

The Sun Devils almost killed the penalty, but UAH’s Gosselin scored what would be the game-winning goal in its final seconds.

“Just one more bobble and we kill that off and we’re probably singing a different tune in here,” Powers said. “You give any Division I team a whole basically two-minute 5-on-3 – the result is not going to be good.”

The game took a very rough tone for the remainder of the second period. At its end, the Sun Devils were outshot 25-15.

“We told them it wasn’t going to be easy,” Powers said. “That team worked last night ... They knew what they were up against. We prepared them. At the end of the day, for two periods, they just out skated us and beat us to pucks and outworked us.”

The Sun Devils attempted to even up the game in the third period, but to no avail. 

“I think our details were a little bit off,” Rowe said. “Just finding a way to execute and just finding that extra play, that extra effort, that extra whatever it is ... We just didn’t have it tonight.”

The score was set at 2-1 until Huntsville senior right wing Josh Kestner scored an empty net goal to make it 3-1.  

“I thought the guys played well,” sophomore goalie Joey Daccord said. “Obviously a tough loss, tough to swallow. We were right there.”

The Sun Devils do not play next weekend, but will continue their home stand the following week against Penn State on Friday, Nov. 17.


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

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