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Devils Avoid Shutout in Season Opener at Michigan

Nov 14, 2020
Photo by Jonathan Knight/Knight Photography LLC

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sun Devil Hockey didn't get the start they wanted in their Big Ten scheduling arrangement season opener, as the No. 12 Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back en route to an 8-1 victory at Yost Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the loss, ASU freshman forward and Detroit Red Wings draft pick Ryan O'Reilly netted his first collegiate goal in his first collegiate start late in the 3rd period to ruin Michigan's shutout. 

"That's one of the most talented teams -- on paper -- maybe in the last decade of college hockey, they're that good," said head coach Greg Powers. "When you don't have your legs and you're letting them play downhill like they did, I thought our D tonight really struggled … that's just a really talented team that we let execute and let them play the way they wanted to play.

"You flush it and we can hopefully get back into a routine tomorrow. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss. Obviously is it embarrassing to lose 8-1 in your opener, yes. There were a lot of uncontrollable forces at play that contributed to this, but we weren't sharp or ready to go, and they were."

The Sun Devils will get a shot at redemption Sunday on national television at 7 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. MT on the Big Ten Network. 

GAME NOTES:

  • A total of four freshmen started for the Sun Devils in game one, with freshmen netminder Cole Brady seeing his first action between the pipes replacing Evan DeBrouwer to start the third period, making 10 saves on 12 shots faced. 
  • Freshman Ryan O'Reilly scored in the final minutes of regulation to ruin Michigan's shutout, which also included fellow freshman linemate Matthew Kopperud recording his first collegiate point with an assist. Sophomore defenseman Jack Judson also earned a secondary assist.
  • O'Reilly is the first freshman to score a goal in his NCAA debut since teammate and junior Demetrios Koumontzis in 2018-19 vs. Alaska. 
  • The No. 15 Sun Devils finished 1-for-7 on the power play. The Wolverine man advantage on the other hand went 3-for-4 and outshot the Sun Devils 37-16.
  • Fifteen different Wolverines made the score sheet with Matty Beniers tallied two goals and freshman Kent Johnson had three assists to pace Michigan. 
  • The last time ASU lost by seven goals was nearly three years ago to the day on Nov. 17, 2017 vs. Penn State (7-0). 
  • Eight goals ties for the most goals allowed by the Sun Devils during the entire 2019-20 season. (8 vs. Omaha - Dec. 22, 2019)
  • The four goals allowed in the second period to Michigan was also only allowed twice by ASU in 2019-20. 
  • This was the first time the Sun Devil penalty kill allowed more than two power-play goals since Oct. 12, 2019 against No. 3 Minnesota State (3). It was the only time they allowed three or more in 2019-20.