No. 15 ASU hockey swept in opening season series versus No. 12 Michigan

The Sun Devils allowed 11 goals over the weekend

No. 15 ASU hockey was swept on the road against No. 12 Michigan in the first weekend of the 2020-21 season, losing 8-1 on Saturday afternoon and 3-0 on Sunday night.

Saturday

After a long offseason, the Sun Devils came into the weekend with high hopes. However, things didn't go according to plan for head coach Greg Powers' team.

On the first night of a two-game series, the Wolverines jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice within a minute of each other at the 7:46 and 8:38 marks of the opening period. 

"We were completely out of sorts," Powers said. "We had a feeling that we would not have our legs in the first period, not to the extent that we didn't have our legs for 60 minutes." 

Michigan then poured onto their lead, scoring four additional goals in the second period.

ASU junior goaltender Evan DeBrouwer, who posted 19 wins in the 2019-20 season, struggled in the first two periods, allowing six goals on 25 Michigan shots. He was eventually replaced by freshman goaltender and New Jersey Devils' draft pick Cole Brady in the third period.

"There's no excuse to play that sloppy and that poorly for 60 minutes," Powers said.

Brady ended the game with 10 saves on 12 shots in his first period of college hockey.

"I thought (Cole) did great, he did a great job," Powers said. "It's a tough spot to go into especially in your first college action. He did a good job."

After going down 8-0 with less than five minutes remaining in the game, ASU finally got on the scoreboard with a power-play goal by freshman forward Ryan O'Reilly on an assist from fellow freshman forward Matthew Kopperud and sophomore defenseman Jack Judson with 2:26 left in the game.

"I think with the group we have, (the team was) just trying to calm all of the jitters and whatnot coming into this game." O'Reilly said. "(Playing in my first collegiate game) was a good experience, it was fun, but it definitely would've been better if we had a win."

Michigan was very successful on the power-play, scoring three goals on four opportunities. However, ASU scored just one goal on seven opportunities. The Sun Devils were also outshot 37-16 in shots on goal.

The Wolverines finished the game with eight goals from seven different scorers. Michigan forward Kent Johnson finished with four points in the game — all of them assists — the most out of any player on the ice.

Sunday

Following Saturday's lopsided 8-1 defeat, ASU's struggles at Michigan continued on Sunday. 

To start, Michigan hopped on the board early when Johnson scored just two-and-a-half minutes into the game on Brady — who was given his first collegiate start in net — to give Michigan the 1-0 lead.

"It's definitely a different level than what I'm used to," Brady said. "I've been ready for months and we've been working hard; I felt good in there. Obviously, it's a tough situation to be in going in cold like that, but I made the most of it."

Brady finished the night with 44 saves.

Michigan sophomore forward and New York Rangers prospect Eric Ciccolini extended his team's lead to two on a goal with five seconds remaining in the first period. The score sent ASU into the first intermission down 2-0 for the second consecutive game.

After a scoreless second period, Michigan junior forward Jimmy Lambert scored the Wolverines' third goal of the game, this time on a power-play 7:14 into the third period. 

"For me in my time here, that was one of the best teams we've played," ASU junior forward Jordan Sandhu said. "They came out trying Saturday night and it's definitely a tough first (series)."

ASU finished the game having allowed 80 shot attempts and 47 shots on goal. The Sun Devils also took more penalties than the Wolverines.

"The (defense) were doing a great job sacrificing their bodies and blocking shots and helping me out," Brady said. "It was great to see."

ASU travels to play the Michigan State Spartans (0-0) next in a two-game series on Nov. 19-20.


Reach the reporter at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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