ASU men's hockey adds third game to losing streak with 3-2 loss to Air Force

The Sun Devils lost both games in a series against No. 19 Air Force

ASU men's hockey (1-3-0) lost to the No. 19 Air Force Falcons  (3-0-1) 3-2 for the second time in the two-game series.

"I thought our guys played hard," head coach Greg Powers said. "I thought they played well enough to win the game."

ASU hoped to shift the momentum following its first loss against Air Force as they nearly caught up in the third period, but the Sun Devils took a penalty to start the game. 

Air Force senior forward  Erik Baskin took advantage of this and scored a power play goal 1:08 into the first period.

"We didn't find a way, but our guys have to figure it out," Powers said. "We've got a young team that hasn't learned how to win consistently, and that was evident tonight."

The Sun Devils soon tied the game when junior defenseman Jake Clifford scored his first goal of the season with assists from junior left wing Jack Rowe and junior forward Joe Lappin at 3:23.

ASU got its first power play at 16:11 into the first period but was not able to capitalize on it. 

However, Rowe scored at 19:34 in the first with an assist from Clifford. This goal gave the Sun Devils their first lead in the series, going into the second period.

Air Force freshman forward Max Harper scored 4:52 into the second, but the goal was disallowed as Powers challenged it as offsides. 

ASU was able maintain this lead after that for the first half of the second period, but Air Force tied the game with a goal from sophomore forward Pierce Pluemer at 9:52.

The Sun Devils then were awarded another power play that junior centerman Anthony Croston scored on, but it was disallowed as well.

"We've got to find a way to convert on the power play," Powers said. "I hate to point fingers, but we scored, and they called it back, and it should have counted."

Air Force took control of the game with what would be the game-winning goal by junior defenseman Matt Koch 17:44 into the second.

"We had three goals in this game, and why that guy blew the whistle claiming they had possession of the puck is beyond me," Powers said. "It's really disappointing, and it cost us the game, and there's no excuse for it."

The score remained deadlocked at 3-2 in the third period, and any momentum the Sun Devils had was thrown off by a five-minute major penalty to sophomore forward Tyler Busch for checking from behind. Busch also received a game misconduct for the play.

"Anytime you can get to the last five minutes on the road taking one penalty, that's a great sign," Powers said. "Not happy with the penalty we did take with five minutes left."

The Sun Devils look to even out their record as they continue to play on the road next week against the University of Nebraska Omaha on Oct. 20-21.

Reach the reporter at or follow @paige_burnell on Twitter.   

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