Fatigued ASU hockey swept by No. 4 Minnesota

The Sun Devils allowed 99 shots on goal and 20 goals in the series

ASU hockey was outscored 20-2 by No. 4 Minnesota across two games, suffering a sweep by the scores of 10-0 on Thursday and 10-2 on Friday.

Minnesota put 99 shots on goal in the series while ASU just managed 35. 

ASU head coach Greg Powers said his team ran into a high-level opponent while skating on fumes. This was ASU's 19th and 20th game in an all-road schedule, eight of which were in the past 19 days.

"We are having to play guys don’t have anything left," Powers said Thursday. "They’ve been on the road for two months out of the last 70 days and they are mentally and physically exhausted."

Thursday

Coming into the game with a two-game losing streak after being swept by Wisconsin last weekend, nothing went right for ASU in its first game against Minnesota.

The Golden Gophers began the game with four goals from three different players in the first period on ASU sophomore goaltender Justin Robbins. Robbins, who saved 19 shots in the period, was pulled after the conclusion of the frame and replaced by junior Evan DeBrouwer to start the second.

DeBrouwer also struggled, allowing three additional Minnesota goals in the second and a fourth over six minutes into the third period before being pulled. He was replaced by junior Bronson Moore, ASU's American Collegiate Hockey Association club goaltender, who made his first Division I collegiate appearance in the game.

Moore stopped six of eight shots he faced in the game, which brought Minnesota's lead to 10 by the end of regulation. 

Minnesota senior forward Brannon McManus scored a hat trick in the game and was aided by four other Golden Gophers players who found the back of the net to give ASU its 12th loss of the season.

Friday

The second game looked to be more of the same for ASU out of the gate. McManus wasted no time getting back in the scoring column, tapping the puck into the net less than a minute into the game. 

However, the Sun Devils hung around through the first 40 minutes, only trailing 4-2 heading into the third period. 

ASU's two goals came from redshirt junior forward Chris Grando on a breakaway in the first period and freshman forward Michael Mancinelli in the second. 

However, the Golden Gophers broke the game open in the third, scoring five goals in the first 10:12 of the final period. 

DeBrouwer was in goal for the entire game, finishing with 37 saves on 47 shots. 

"If any of you guys have a lead on where you can get one of those 'Men in Black' pens that erase people's memories, let me know because I need to find one," Powers joked on Friday. "It's an unprecedented thing we're going through. Our guys deserve some slack for what they're attempting to go through to play this year and it caught up with us." 

ASU (5-13-2) will receive a break spanning over three weeks, with its next regular-season matchup being on Feb. 14 against Michigan State. Powers said Friday that his team needs time to heal. 

In the meantime, ASU will host the U.S. National Team Development Program U18 squad on Feb. 4-5 for two exhibition games. 


Reach the reporters at aklatsky@asu.edu and alexjweiner@gmail.com and follow @averyklatsky and @alexjweiner on Twitter. 

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