ASU hockey fails to pick up win in series with No. 7 Michigan

With a loss and a tie against the Wolverines, the Sun Devils dropped to 6-15-3 with two games left in the season

ASU men's hockey suffered a 4-1 loss and salvaged a 1-1 tie in its series against No. 7 Michigan Friday and Saturday. ASU, who has won two games since the start of 2021, heads into March with just two more games left in its season.

Friday

Michigan took a 2-0 lead with two first-period goals from sophomore forward Eric Ciccolini and freshman forward Matty Beniers on freshman goaltender Cole Brady at 16:42 and 18:19 into the period, respectively.

Beniers scored 14:16 into the second period to push the Wolverines' advantage to three points but was reduced back to two after a deflection goal from redshirt junior forward Chris Grando with 2:42 left in the period. 

Senior forward Johnny Walker assisted on the goal, which marked the 108th point of his ASU career, surpassing former Sun Devil Brinson Pasichnuk for the most points by a player in the program's history.

Beniers completed a hat trick with a goal 5:22 into the third period to hand ASU a 4-1 loss.

Brady ended the game with 32 saves on 36 shots on net, while Michigan freshman goaltender Erik Portillo stopped 19 of 20 shots faced to pick up the win.

Following Friday's game, Walker's 108 points have come in 113 collegiate appearances with ASU, averaging nearly a point per game. He has scored 12 points through 14 games played this season.

Saturday

Contrary to Friday's game and to most of ASU's season, the team scored the first goal of the game toward the end of the second period on a deflected shot from senior forward Dominic Garcia. The goal came after nearly 39 minutes of scoreless play, with neither team finding the back of the net in the first period.

ASU came into the game 4-4-0 when scoring against opponents first and 2-11-2 when allowing the first score of the game.

However, the lead did not last long, as Michigan senior forward Jack Becker scored with 41 seconds remaining in the second period to send both teams into the second intermission tied at one.

Both the Sun Devils and the Wolverines failed to score in the third, sending the game into overtime, ASU's fifth trip to extra time this season. A scoreless overtime session handed ASU its third tie of the year and moved the team to 6-15-3.

Brady saved 41 of 42 shots in the game.

ASU travels to Columbus, Ohio to face Ohio State on March 4 and 5 in what will be the final two games of the 2020-21 season.


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

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