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Freshmen Fire Storm Snuffed by No. 16 Notre Dame

Dec 4, 2020

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Four unanswered Sun Devil goals in the second period weren't enough to fend off the luck of the Fighting Irish at Compton Family Ice Arena on Friday night. The Arizona State (3-4-1) men's ice hockey team leaves South Bend with a series split after a heartbreaking loss in the final five seconds of regulation against No. 13/16 Notre Dame (3-3-0). 

Freshman forward Matthew Kopperud scored two of the four Sun Devil goals and is now tied with Wisconsin's Cole Caufield for first in the country for most goals (6), while playing two less games than Caufield. Kopperud leads all freshmen in the NCAA in goals scored. 

After a back and forth high-scoring game, Notre Dame's Nick Leivermann netted a controversial goal to secure the 5-4 win for the Fighting Irish within the final 5.1 seconds of the third period. 

"(It's) just confidence. He's just feeling it," head coach Greg Powers said when asked about Kopperud's scoring streak. "It's coming off his stick and finding the back of the net. It's just what he does. He's a goal scorer."

Kopperud also recorded an assist on a goal from junior forward Jordan Sandhu, who scored his first goal of the season.

 "(I'm) playing with a lot more confidence now," Kopperud said, "but playing with Koumontzis and Sandhu is a big factor with how smart they both are and how hard Sandhu works."


The Sun Devils will travel to State College, Pennsylvania to take on Penn State on Friday, December 11th at 4 P.M. MST and Sunday, December 13th at 12 P.M. MST. Both games will be available to stream on BTN+. 


  • Notre Dame opened the scoring early in the first period, stretching ahead 2-0.
  • With 55 seconds left on the clock, Kopperud fired a shot on net leaving Sandhu to get the rebound in the backdoor scoring his first goal of the season. Fellow linemate, junior forward Demetrios Koumontzis earns the secondary assist. 
  • Freshman netminder Cole Brady faced 21 shots throughout the first period. 
  • ASU's third line tallied another one on the board with a shot from Sandhu and finished off by Kopperud who found the back of the net to tie the game 2-2. 
  • On the power play, Kopperud found the back of the net with a shot from the perimeter that went right through traffic giving the Sun Devils a 3-2 lead. Senior forward James Sanchez and sophomore defenseman Jacob Semik earned the apples. 
  • Late in the second period, Semik took a shot out wide for freshman forward Ryan O'Reilly to tap in the backdoor giving the Sun Devils a two goal lead heading into the third. 
  • ASU held the Fighting Irish to just four shots on goal in the second period, Brady stood tall in the crease to stop all four. 
  • Notre Dame got two back-to-back goals past Brady with eight minutes left in the third period to knot the game at 4-4. 
  • With only five seconds left in the third period, Notre Dame netted a fifth goal to finish the game 5-4.  


  • The Sun Devils finished 1-4 on the power play while the Fighting Irish went 0-1. ND led the shots on goal, 47-37. 
  • ASU scored three goals in the second period, tied for the most in a single frame so far this season. 
  • Kopperud is now tied for the most goals in the country (6) and leads all freshmen in NCAA scoring. 
  • Kopperud and O'Reilly combined for six goals and two assists with a +6 this weekend. 
  • The last time the Sun Devils scored four unanswered goals was in January 2020 vs. Brown. ASU was down 3-0 and came back to collect the 'W' in overtime.
  • Friday's game was senior defenseman Gvido Jansons' 100th career game. 
  • Koumontzis, Kopperud and Sandhu have accounted for nine of the 21 goals scored in the past four games. 


Coach Powers

On second period performance:
"That was a clinic. That was really fun to watch. You could see how good we could be and we got a long way but I think that's a shining example of what we're capable of." 

On Kopperud's recent performance: 
"Just confidence. He's just feeling it. It's coming off his stick and finding the back of the net. It's just what he does. He's a goal scorer." 

Matthew Kopperud

On game:
"We had a rough first period and then second period we came out and we exploded then third period we kinda let off the gas and it costed us"

On playing on national stage:
"It's definitely great for our program because most people don't know that we even have a hockey team, so getting on national TV is showing us a lot more and showing that ASU has a hockey team,"

On looking to next series:
"We gotta move on right now, it's done, we lost and we have to start worrying about Penn State and how we're going to beat them next week"