Devils Push #1 Minnesota, Small Lapses Make Difference
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- In a game that was highlighted by SportCenter's No. 1 Play of the Night courtesy of Sun Devil senior forward Johnny Walker, Sun Devil Hockey (4-8-2) went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 team in the country, rallying from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 lead halfway through the second period.
Walker's lacrosse-style goal, which is known far and wide as "The Michigan" and also recently referenced with Carolina Hurricanes' Andrei Svechnikov, put the Sun Devils up a goal and also became the first time Minnesota (10-0-0) had allowed more than two goals in a game this season.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) January 5, 2021
"He's just a great hockey player," said head coach Greg Powers of Walker. "We've missed him and he could have easily had three or four tonight. That's how good and special he is and how efficient he is offensively. Their guy made some monster saves on him. He made two unbelievable saves on Johnny -- both on the powerplay -- that glove save and then backdoor save. And those two were probably the difference in the game."
Despite the Sun Devil rally, the Golden Gophers battled back for a 6-4 victory with two goals late in the 2nd and 3rd periods to remain perfect on the season.
- Minnesota had never allowed more than two goals in a game this season with only nine goals against in nine games thus far.
- The Sun Devils committed zero penalties on Monday night, making for the first time in program history they did not go to the penalty box in a game.
- Sean Dhooghe's powerplay goal made for the Sun Devil's second of the weekend, and only the second allowed by the Golden Gopher penalty kill all season. They had not allowed a goal through eight games until they faced the Sun Devils.
- The ASU powerplay has now tallied a goal in each of the last three games.
- Junior forward PJ Marrocco scored his first goal of the season, and first since Feb. 15, 2020 vs. Alaska Anchorage.
- Senior forward and co-captain Johnny Walker scored his first goal of the season -- a highlight reel lacrosse-style goal -- after missing 10 consecutive games with an injury after the season-opening series in Michigan.
- Junior defenseman Jarrod Gourley netted his first goal of the season in the final minutes of the third period.
- The Sun Devil offense ranks 20th in the country, averaging 2.93 goals per game. They rank 4th over the last 10 games at 3.90 goals per game. Meanwhile, they rank 42nd in goals allowed per game.