ASU men's hockey falls 3-2 in overtime to the Yale Bulldogs

Penalty kills and power plays break up the game and leave the Sun Devils with a loss against Yale

ASU men’s hockey (7-17-5) lost 3-2 to the Yale Bulldogs (10-11-1) in overtime after a game of power plays and penalty kills that neither team was able to capitalize on. 

The game had a total of 19 penalties, with ASU having six chances on the power play.

“I think both teams took a lot of penalties tonight,” Yale head coach Keith Allain said. “I thought our team played well. I thought our penalty kill was really, really strong and I thought their penalty kill was really strong.” 

However, both teams made a habit of scoring right after their man-advantage opportunities. 

“I think there were times when it was definitely a different game with all the penalties,” ASU junior defenseman Jake Clifford said. “So, you’ve kind of got to stay engaged and do your best to really just be ready for the opportunity to get back on the ice.”

The momentum the Sun Devils generated from their first two power plays of the game translated into a goal by Clifford, who was assisted by sophomore forward Steenn Pasichnuk after a 26-second man advantage expired.

“It’s always good,” Clifford said. “You get on the board first and you give yourself, give your team a very good chance at winning."

Six more penalties were given after this in the first period, with only two of them being power play opportunities for the Sun Devils. 

This enabled the Bulldogs to maintain possession of the puck for the remainder of the first period and they continued to dominate through the beginning of the second period. 

“There’s a lot to like,” Allain said. “I think we played with speed. I thought we did a good job on the forecheck. We created a lot of scoring chances.”

After throwing 30 shots at ASU sophomore goalie Joey Daccord, Yale tied the game right after its second power play of the period with an unassisted goal from junior forward JM Piotrowski.

“Dax (Daccord) was awesome,” ASU head coach Greg Powers said. “He gave us a chance to win tonight and that’s all you can ask.”

Half-way through the second period, the Sun Devils began to get into the flow of the game despite the fact it kept being disrupted by a barrage of penalties. 

Another power play passed ASU, but freshman left wing Dominic Garcia scored with assists from junior centerman Anthony Croston and Pasichnuk.  

Shots in the second period were even at 10-10, while Yale lead 24-4 at the end of the first period.

Yale was on the power play for 11 seconds to start the third period to no avail, but scored 42 seconds later. 

However, the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference, but the Bulldogs fought back. They not only took more shots, but also had more scoring chances than the Sun Devils. 

“They were just not taking care of the puck,” Powers said. “You’ve got to manage the puck and we had two guys just literally give them breakaways and they’re too good of players to make those mistakes. This late in the season, they can’t make those mistakes.”

Less than three minutes later, Yale senior forward Ryan Hitchcock scored to tie the game up once again. 

The game evened out after this and moved into a five-minute overtime period. 

The Sun Devils had one shot ring off of the post, but that was not enough as Yale’s leading goal scorer, junior left wing Joe Snively, made the game winning shot.

“The overtime goal … we can’t just miss a net, break them out and give them two-on-ones like that,” Powers said. "It is what it is. It’s a cruel game sometimes."

After all play, the Bulldogs outshot the Sun Devils by a total of 46-25. 

“Losing sucks, but when you lose a really close one, those are the ones that hurt the most, but there are a lot of things we can take from it,” Clifford said. “Still got another game to play.”

The Sun Devils will take on Yale again tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. EST at Ingalls Arena in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @paige_burnell on Twitter.   

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