Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

ASU hockey loses series to Alaska Fairbanks as injuries plague the Sun Devils

The Sun Devils gave everything they had this weekend, but a growing list of injuries held them back

230225 HOC v Alaska Fairbanks

Senior forward Robert Mastrosimone (94) fights for the puck against at the against an Alaska Fairbanks defender Mullett Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Tempe. ASU lost 4-2.

A win wasn't in the cards for the Sun Devils this weekend after the hockey team succumbed to two losses against Alaska Fairbanks on Friday and Saturday. 

ASU's main goal this weekend was to get a couple of wins and stop Fairbanks from entering the tournament. Before this two game series, the Sun Devils won their past four games at Mullett Arena, likely drawing on the large crowd and energy to propel them to victory. 

The fan section wasn't enough this weekend though, as the team is suffering from multiple injuries from notable players. 

Despite this, the Sun Devils still tried to pull a win. ASU came out Friday night with high energy, but Fairbanks got ahead quickly with a goal merely four minutes into the game. The first period also had a few penalties that cost the Sun Devils two goals. While one of the goals was called back for offsides, the Nanooks kept the momentum to score a power play goal that would stick.

The first period also gave the Sun Devils a two-man advantage, which resulted in a goal from sophomore forward Josh Doan. However, Fairbanks scored a short-handed goal on the same Sun Devil power play, and the quick response showed the Nanooks' efforts to control the game. 

And that's just what they did. Senior defenseman Jack Judson scored a goal in the third period, but the Sun Devils fell short 4-2 in the end. 

"They had a push in the first obviously, they came out really hard, which we knew they would," head coach Greg Powers said. "It was just work output, and their guys were outworking ours, and I loved our push in the third." 

Saturday night, ASU came out looking for a win, but there were more obstacles in their way. Senior forward Robert Mastrosimone and sophomore defenseman Ty Murchison were both taken out of the lineup due to injuries. 

ASU has been hit hard with the injury bug as of late. The Sun Devils were only able to field three full lines instead of their normal four against the Nanooks in Saturday's loss. With Mastrosimone and Murchison both missing the game, ASU's injured list climbed to eight players. 

Powers said Mastrosimone has been fighting an injury for a while now. Murchison was injured in the loss to the Nanooks on Friday night and did not return to the game. 

"Two huge losses when you are already extremely short as it is, and then you lose two draft picks, a big horse in the back," Powers said. "It is what it is." 

Tensions were higher during Saturday's game, and onlookers who project a new rivalry may be onto something. 

The Sun Devils got on the scoreboard first with a goal from graduate student forward Demetrios Koumontzis, which was followed by a string of penalties from both teams in the first and second periods. Slashing, boarding, cross checking and game misconduct were some of the penalties the Sun Devils took, as their frustration and struggle to remain disciplined increased. 

Doan scored another power-play goal to put the Sun Devils up 2-0 early in the second period, but it wasn't enough to pull a win over the Nanooks, who moved the puck quickly and made some key offensive plays. The Sun Devils fell short 4-2 for the second night in a row.

Even though morale was low after the losses, senior defenseman Jacob Semik recognized how important it was to move forward. 

"We're playing for something bigger than ourselves at this point," Semik said. "You just motivate guys, especially guys who are learning, because they're gonna be here longer than we will, so it's important to keep them motivated so they're ready for the future." 

This weekend's games confirmed that ASU will finish the season under .500, but Powers said he is going to try to have fun with the last four games of the year.

"I don't know who we are going to get back, if anybody. I may call up a kid from the club team if I have to," Powers said. "He will play hard I'm sure, I've already looked into it. I would look for that because we are probably going to need a body."

ASU ends its season with a series at Alaska Anchorage and then a final home series against Long Island University. If the Sun Devils win their last four games, they will end the season with a 19-20 record. Powers is focused on motivating the team to finish on a high despite a difficult season. 

"They fought hard. It's been 20 games of grueling adversity, short-handed and this is the result," Powers said. "We have got to find a way to finish strong."

Edited by Kathryn Field, Reagan Priest and Anusha Natarajan.

Reach the reporters at and and follow @kat_m67 and @RishOza_ on Twitter.

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

Rishi Oza

Sports writer

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.