Bevy of power-play chances drive ASU production in series split at Notre Dame

The Sun Devils scored four power-play goals in the series split

The Arizona State men's hockey team picked up one win and one loss against Notre Dame over the weekend to move to 5-9-2 on the season.

Saturday

The Sun Devils, coming into the weekend riding a two-game losing streak following a sweep against No. 1 Minnesota, began the game against the Fighting Irish on the right foot.

Freshman forward Matthew Kopperud scored his ninth goal of the season just 2:32 into the game on Notre Dame goalie Dylan St. Cyr.

After allowing two goals from Notre Dame following Kopperud's score early in the period, the Denver, Colorado native put his name on the scoresheet once again to knot his second tally of the period.

Both of Kopperud's goals came on the power-play. ASU finished 2-for-2 on the man advantage in the game.

ASU and Notre Dame traded goals in the second, with Irish forward Landon Slaggert scoring his second goal of the game 3:51 into the middle period; the score was quickly followed by Sun Devil freshman Michael Mancinelli 3:01 later, which tied the game at three.

Notre Dame struck twice in just over a minute early in the third, cementing a two-goal lead over ASU. 

Senior forward Johnny Walker scored his second goal in as many games to bring the Sun Devils within one, but the team was unable to find a game-tying goal late in the third. 

In what was his ninth start of the season, junior goaltender Evan DeBrouwer stopped 36 of 41 shots faced in the game, ending with a .878 save percentage.

The defeat marks ASU's ninth loss of the season.

Sunday

After scoring the first goal in Saturday's game, ASU found similar footing in Sunday afternoon's melee. 

ASU senior forward James Sanchez, who had three assists in Saturday's loss, scored at 11:43 into the first after an unsuccessful power-play to take a 1-0 lead.

Notre Dame forward Spencer Stastney scored his second goal of the season at 6:35 into the second period to even the score. 

Sophomore goaltender Justin Robbins, whose only career appearance was a 15-minute stint at the end of a 0-5 loss against Minnesota State in 2019-20, was given his first collegiate start in the game. 

After being given a cross-checking penalty near the midway point in the second period, junior Sun Devil defenseman Jarrod Gourley scored with 4:33 remaining in the period to push the lead back in favor of ASU heading into the final period.

Walker scored a goal on an assist from Chris Grando 8:19 into the third period to take a 3-1 lead over the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame's Max Ellis scored 2:32 after Walker to lower ASU's lead back down to one.

ASU and Notre Dame traded several goals late in the third period, with two goals from Fighting Irish's Ellis split by two goals from Kopperud in less than four minutes. 

Both of Kopperud's goals were on the power-play following a five minute major and game misconduct that was given to Notre Dame forward Colin Theisen earlier in the period.

Both Robbins and DeBrouwer will be sharing time in net for the considerable future, with news that freshman goaltender Cole Brady will miss 3-4 weeks of time for undisclosed reasons.

ASU picked up a 5-3 win on Sunday to split the series against Notre Dame.

The Sun Devils will return to Madison, Wisconsin, to play against the Wisconsin Badgers on Jan. 15 and 16. ASU swept Wisconsin with 8-5 and 3-1 victories in late November, the team's only sweep of the season so far.


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

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