Hockey Pushes #12 Badgers to Brink, Split Season Series
MADISON, Wisc. -- Special teams proved to be a deciding factor Sunday for both the Sun Devils (5-11-2) and the Badgers (8-6-0) with two empty-net goals ultimately resulting in a 5-2 loss for the Maroon & Gold. The Badgers capitalized on two power plays in the first period, ultimately becoming a key difference in the game.
Despite the loss, the Sun Devils split the four-game season series with No. 12 Wisconsin with each squad capitalizing on the other team's shorthandedness.
"They were awesome, I thought we played well enough to win," said head coach Greg Powers. "You could make the argument that we deserved a better fate. I thought the guys played three, really hard periods, and at the end of the day, it didn't go our way and the result didn't go our way.
"But to play that hard shorthanded and give those guys everything and more than they can handle was really impressive and we're proud of our guys tonight."
The Sun Devils make their return trip to No. 1 Minnesota this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. MT on FOX Sports Arizona.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Early in the first period, senior James Sanchez buried a loose puck just as the 5-on-3 advantage expired to give the Sun Devils the 1-0 lead with 12:03 left in the first period.
- Minutes later, with the Badgers on their first power play of the night, Linus Weissbach fired a shot from the top of the zone to tie the game at one with 9:48 on the clock.
- After a strange few minutes that saw no time come off the clock, three penalties assigned, and a Sun Devil power play quickly turn to a Badger man advantage, Wisconsin's Cole Caufield was able to capitalize on a quick shot to make it 2-1 with 9:11 left in the first.
- Late in the second frame, Mike Vorlicky came down the left side and beat DeBrouwer 5-hole for the 3-1 Badger lead.
- With 12:37 left in the third, Sean Dhooghe found Michael Macinelli who made a nice move around the goalie to find the back of the net to cut the Badger lead in half, 3-2.
- Jason Dhooge and Brock Caufield were both able to score empty net goals in the final two minutes of the game to make the final score 5-2.
QUOTES OF THE GAME:
- "They were awesome, I thought we played well enough to win. You could make the argument that we deserved a better fate. I thought the guys played three, really hard periods, and at the end of the day, it didn't go our way and the result didn't go our way. But to play that hard shorthanded and give those guys everything and more than they can handle was really impressive and we're proud of our guys tonight"- Head coach Greg Powers on the outcome of the game
- "I thought we came out well, really the whole game we just wanted to win. We've got a lot of character in the room and we wanted to win. We talked a lot about our situation and it's not an excuse to not work hard and outwork our opponent, no matter who we have suited up. This is not how we run our program, it's not how we do things no matter who we have to suit up, we play hard and compete and battle, that's our focus and tonight the guys did that and they certainly did that in the third period"- Head coach Greg Powers on how the team is playing despite the situation
- "We try to not make any excuses and this week was a great time for people who don't play as much to step up and I truly believe that they did."- Freshman forward Michael Mancinelli on having key players out of the lineup
- "Coming in, it was important to me to play really good down low and just get comfortable, gain some trust and then start to play some more offense. I'd say that's been my main focus just playing a good 200-foot game."- Freshman forward Michael Mancinelli on his mindset going into the game
- The Sun Devils were again missing three key starters in the game, including the team's third-leading point earner and top power-play unit forward Ryan O'Reilly. Jarrod Gourley and Jacob Wilson also missed their first game of the season as two of the team's top-four defensemen.
- The Sun Devils' penalty kill streak came to an end Sunday, as the Badgers scored on their first two power-play opportunities. The streak ended at 12 in-a-row.
- After failing to score on the man advantage on Saturday, which ended ASU's streak of five-straight games with a power-play goal, the Sun Devils got on the board on their first opportunity of the night.
- Without the two empty-net goals by the Badgers in the final two minutes, this became a fifth one-goal loss for the Sun Devils this season -- not including two overtime losses.
- The Badgers and Sun Devils split the season series with each sweeping a two-game series with the opposing team shorthanded.
- The Devils have now completed two of their seven four-game series against Big Ten opponents, and currently hold a 4-4 record against them (Notre Dame and Wisconsin).