ASU men's hockey gets first win in 6-4 contest over Mercyhurst

The Sun Devils earned a series split with the Lakers

Power play efficiency was the key factor in ASU’s 6-4 victory over Mercyhurst Sunday afternoon.

After ASU came up empty on five power play opportunities the night before, it made sure to rectify that mistake this time around, scoring on three of nine power play opportunities.

“It wasn’t as crisp, and a couple of them weren’t exactly how you’d draw them up, but at the end of the day, we popped three,” head coach Greg Powers said. “That’s a really good start. After not getting one last night, to get three today, that’s the difference in the game.” 

The Sun Devils drew first blood as sophomore defenseman Joshua Maniscalco scored on a power play at 3:26 into the first period. However, Mercyhurst scored midway through the first to tie things up 1-1.

In the opening period, ASU outshot Mercyhurst 13-6. 

And in the second period, ASU dominated.

The Sun Devils scored three goals, two of them from the power play. Sophomore forward Demetrios Koumontzisstruck first on the power play just over a minute after the puck dropped.

“That line was awesome,” Powers said. “They produced a ton for us ... Koumo got us going to start the second with his shot. He needs to do that more, cause he’s got a great shot.”

Junior forward Johnny Walker echoed that sentiment.

“If Koumo’s scoring, something’s gotta be good,” Walker said.

With less than four minutes left in the second period, Walker scored a power play goal of his own in the midst of a net scuffle that gave ASU a 4-1 lead.

ASU registered a 13-4 shot advantage in the period and seemed to move the puck almost at will.

The third period started off well for ASU. After killing a penalty, the Sun Devils scored off a deep slapshot from senior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk to take a 5-2 lead.

“That was a little bit of luck. It might have looked like it went straight in, but it deflected off the other guy’s stick,” Pasichnuk said. “It just goes to show how important every goal is.”

Although ASU would ultimately hold on, Mercyhurst scored a pair of goals to cut the lead to 5-4.

Goaltending was an issue for ASU. Graduate transfer Max Prawdzik made his first start of the season but struggled, allowing four goals on 21 shots.

“I know Max holds himself to a higher standard than he performed tonight ... when he gets opportunities, he wins. He’s done it at every level,” Powers said. “He’s 1-0, and that’s all that matters.”

ASU fought tooth and nail for the remainder of the third, sealing the win with an empty netter by Walker with under a minute remaining.

Although the 6-4 victory wasn’t pretty, the team is in good spirits.

“I got a lot of confidence from these two games,” freshman forward Logan Jenuwine said.

ASU sits at 1-1. The team will travel to Mankato, Minnesota to play No. 3 Minnesota State in the first of a two-game series on Oct. 11.


Reach the reporter at cvanligt@asu.edu and follow @Connor_VL on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter. 


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.