Strong third period not enough as Sun Devils fall to Quinnipiac, 5-3

Freshman Dominic Garcia scores his first career collegiate goal in tough loss

The first 40 minutes proved frustrating as the Sun Devils fell to the Quinnipiac Bobcats, 5-3, Saturday at Gila River Arena in Glendale. The Bobcats led in the goal and shot departments after two periods of play, 5-2 and 35-12, respectively. 

Penalty Kill Troubles

ASU's penalty kill struggled Saturday as Quinnipiac converted three times on nine shots on goal. According to uscho.com, with Saturday's game taken into account, ASU's penalty kill now ranks 21st in the nation at 82.1 percent. 

"Our penalty kill wasn't sharp," Powers said. "They weren't intense. They weren't winning draws. In the first period on one of (Quinnipiac's) power plays, we had the puck on our tape seven times ... and didn't get it out, so our killers just were not intense enough."

Positive Takeaways

The third period saw the Sun Devils battle back, outshooting Quinnipiac 11-2 in the final 20 minutes. ASU also scored on the power play at 14:02 of the final period, cutting the Bobcat lead to 5-3. 

"We played our style of hockey in the third (period)," Powers said. "I think we came out and we were really physical right away, and that's how we have to play. We have to loosen teams up with being physical the right way, and we didn't do that in the first two periods."

Another positive from Saturday was Dominic Garcia. Garcia, a freshman forward from Las Vegas, scored his first career collegiate goal. 

"It felt good," Garcia said. "It was a little short lived ... (but) it was definitely memorable. I know it's been haunting me for the first three-fourths of the season, so it was finally good to get the monkey off the back."

Garcia's goal came at 19:08 of the second period. However, the celebration was cut short when Quinnipiac tallied eight seconds later at 19:16, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

After two periods of play, ASU made a change in between the pipes. Junior goaltender Ryland Pashovitz led the team onto the ice to start the third period and played the rest of the way for the maroon and gold. Sophomore goaltender Joey Daccord, who has been a mainstay in the crease for the Devils this season, had allowed five goals on 30 shots. 

"Just (a) reset just to give us a little bit of a mojo," Powers said. "(Pashovitz is) a great teammate. He's supported (Daccord) all year. (Daccord) didn't have the sharpest period there in the second. He's going to have to be big for us against BU, so I wanted to get (Pashovitz) in and see if it would change the energy on the bench a little bit and it did."

"(Daccord) was fine with (the change)," Powers said. "It just gave him an opportunity to reset."

Despite the third period bounce back, the Bobcats outshot the Sun Devils 37-23 Saturday in the desert.

ASU is now 7-14-5 for the season, but 3-2-1 since the calendar changed to 2018. 

"We're super blessed ... that we do have a young team," sophomore defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk said. "Everything we're going through now is going to translate into next year where we're going to be older, and it's going to be something special that I'm looking forward to." 

What's Next For ASU

The Sun Devils are off until next Friday as their final home series of the season features the Boston University Terriers. ASU will play Boston University Friday at Gila River Arena in Glendale and Saturday at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  


Reach the reporter at michael.baron@asu.edu or follow @Michael_Baron96 on Twitter.

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