Third Period Surge Comes up Short for Hockey
TEMPE, Ariz. -- TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State men's ice hockey team (6-7-0) made No. 20 Bemidji State (8-5-0) earn tomorrow's turkey dinner in a close 4-3 defeat on Wednesday night in the first of three-straight home series at Oceanside Ice Arena.
ASU held BSU to just one goal in the final two periods after the Beavers put three goals on the board in the first. ASU came alive in the third period with two goals, including an empty net goal from Chris Grando in the final minute to pull ASU within one.
"You come out with that poor of a start against a really good team like that, they're going to make you pay," said head coach Greg Powers. "We just dug ourselves a hole that we couldn't quite climb out of. I thought we played really well in the second and third."
ASU went toe-to-toe with a top-20 team in the later 40 minutes of regulation and played through a handful of opportunities that just couldn't come to fruition.
The Beavers were able to pick up two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, with one coming off of a PPG. ASU got on the board thanks to Demitrios Koumontzis' goal in the first period with the help of Josh Doan's 12th assist of the season. Bemidji scored on the breakaway right before the first frame ended to give themselves a 3-1 lead headed into intermission.
Early in the second period, the Sun Devils looked for an opportunity on the power play. With 17 seconds remaining in the PP, BSU was called for too many men on the ice to give which gave ASU another two more minutes of PP. ASU's PK squad made an appearance a little over 13 minutes into the second with Koumontzis in the box, and the penalty was killed by the Sun Devils. Kraws had back-to-back saves in the final minutes of the second frame to keep the Sun Devils within reaching distance of the Beavers as neither team recorded a goal in the second.
BIG SAVES KRAW DADDY?? pic.twitter.com/mHEuIQguUX
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) November 25, 2021
Arizona State had an early power play after BSU got their second penalty for too many men on the ice, but ASU could not capitalize. BSU tacked on their fourth goal nearly seven minutes into the third. ASU's point leader, Matthew Kopperud, found the back of the net at the halfway mark of the period, with an assist from Jack Judson and Sean Dhooghe. ASU scored its first empty net goal of the season with 41 seconds remaining in the third from Chris Grando.
ASU will have a rest day on Thursday and return to Oceanside Friday to face the Beavers again at 7:05 pm MST. The game will be viewable on the ASU Live Stream.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) November 25, 2021
- Bemidji got on the board 5:46 into the game to take a 1-0 lead.
- Wilson went to the box for hooking at 7:09, and the Beavers took a 2-0 lead off of a PPG at 7:59 into the first.
- Coming out of a timeout, Demitrios Koumontzis got the Sun Devils on the board 12:11 with an assist from Josh Doan into the first.
- With 2:08 remaining, Bemidji extended their lead with a goal.
- The Beavers outshot the Sun Devils 18-9 in the first.
- Kraws picked up where he left off with 15 saves.
- ASU had a man-up opportunity 3:42 into the second period, but could not capitalize.
- Bemidji was called for too many men on the ice, and the Devils were a man up for two more minutes in the first 10 minutes of the second period and could not score.
- Koumontzis headed to the penalty box for boarding at the 13:18 mark, and the PK was back out for ASU.
- The two teams traded shots 12-7 in the Beavers' favor, but neither team was able to get on the board.
- Kraws added to his saves total to 27 through two.
- ASU was a man up 2:58 into the third from the second too many men on the ice call of the game on the Beavers. With the BSU goalie missing his stick in the final minute of the PP, ASU could not capitalize.
- Bemidji's fourth goal came on the breakaway near the seven minute mark.
- Matthew Kopperud had his third even-strength goal of the season at the 8:47 mark in the third to pull the Sun Devils back within two.
- Bemidji was called for crosschecking, and the Sun Devils were back on a man up opportunity with 9:54 remaining in the game, and took some good shots but couldn't find the back of the net.
- An empty net goal from Grando brought the Devils within one, but with 41 seconds remaining in the game with assists from Mike Mancinelli and Matthew Kopperud
- Tonight was Kopperud's fifth straight game of 2+ points, and eighth of the season.
- Koppperud now has 21 points, which is more than last season's total of 19.
- Josh Doan's assist tonight marked his fourth straight game with an assist.
Head Coach Greg Powers:
On the slow start:
"You come out with that poor of a start against a really good team like that, they're going to make you pay. We just dug ourselves a hole that we couldn't quite climb out of. I thought we played really well in the second and third. Missed a lot of chances, generated a lot of great A's, missed the net a lot. Again, the slow start costs us."
On the power play tonight:
"We weren't getting set up. I think the only draw we won that we got set up right away was on the 5 on 3. We had a very short one, it didn't get a shot off so it just wasn't clicking. The power play has been great for us all year and it'll continue to be, it was just one of those nights."
On takeaways from the second and third period:
"Good ole fashion work, it works. All we did was work and execute our game plan and it works. Its pretty laid out for what we have to do."
On staying close with a top 20 team:
"We are resilient. We have resiliency. We've come back from down quite a bit this year and won. But we have to come out here and be desperate for a win on Friday."
What stands out ahead of Friday's game:
"Just the complete buy-in to how we want to play hockey here. You can't pick and choose when you want to play hard and when you want to compete and battle. If we make the decision to buy into how we have to play every shift we'll be really good. We really believe that. We believe in what we have. I believe in oru guys. Our whole staff and I know when push comes to shove they believe in each other. But picking and choosing when you want to play hard is just not going to win you hockey games."