Home Sweep Home! Hockey Downs #18 Clarkson
TEMPE, Ariz. – Home sweep home! The Arizona State men's ice hockey team completed the sweep of No. 18 Clarkson with a 4-1 victory on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena. ASU's third line of Chris Grando, Ryan O'Reilly, and Michael Mancinelli popped off, notching two of ASU's four goals and combining for five points.
The third line trio also all boast multiple game point-scoring streaks. Mancinelli has at least one point in each of the last four games while O'Reilly and Grando are both on three-game point-scoring heaters.
"We all work really well together and we've had really good chemistry," said O'Reilly. "I think it builds in practice we're really loud, we're good at communicating with each other and I think we just play really simple. When you do things right, things open up and we are good players so we make the plays that are necessary."
finaL against cLarkson pic.twitter.com/dzK92GACTh
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) December 12, 2021
ASU (9-9-0) enjoyed four power play opportunities in the initial 20 minutes and took full advantage on one as Matthew Kopperud scored the first goal of the game. The Sun Devils outshot the Golden Knights (9-6-3), 17-7, in the opening frame.
The second period was riddled with penalties as both a Clarkson skater and ASU's Jacob Wilson were assessed game misconducts and subsequently ejected from the game. ASU came up empty on the PP opportunities in the second but tallied another goal on even strength from Ryan O'Reilly with assists from Chris Grando and Michael Mancinelli. Just over two minutes later, O'Reilly's linemate, Michael Mancinelli lit the lamp again to extend ASU's lead to 3-0. Through two periods, ASU reached 30 shots on net while holding Clarkson to only 20.
Halfway through the third period, Clarkson was sent to the box for five five minutes in what would start a penalty eruption. On the subsequent faceoff, Clarkson committed another penalty for tripping, giving ASU a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes. A minute later, ASU was given a penalty to push the play to 4-on-4. A few ASU penalties later and the Sun Devils found themselves disadvantaged in 4-on-3. Clarkson was able to capitalize on one of the penalty opportunities to evade the looming shutout.
Jack Becker put the nail in the coffin, scoring an empty net goal on Clarkson's last-ditch effort to close the gap. Ben Kraws finished the night with 36 saves.
UP NEXT: The Sun Devils travel to Colorado Springs to face Colorado College in the final series of 2021 on Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18.
11:48 ASU (1-0): On a 5-on-3 man-advantage, Matthew Kopperud scored at the front of the crease off assists from Josh Doan and Tim Lovell. As Clarkson's netminder went low to protect a tip, Kopperud aimed over the shoulder to the top of the goal, knocking the goalie's water bottle off the netting.
12:33 ASU (2-0): Clarkson attempted a shot on a 3-on-1 advantage that allowed ASU's Chris Grando and Ryan O'Reilly to have their own breakaway opportunity. O'Reilly carried the puck across the slot and tossed a backhanded shot to the top corner of the net.
14:57 ASU (3-0): Tim Theocharidis gave the give-and-go pass to Michael Mancinelli in the neutral zone and it was end of story from there. Mancinelli carried the puck and went top shelf from the right circle to extend ASU's lead.
11:39 CU (3-1): Chris Klack helped Clarkson evade the shutout with the first Golden Knights goal of the night on 4-on-4 play.
17:00 ASU (4-1): Jack Becker netted a shorthanded goal after Colin Theisen carried the puck through the neutral zone and attempted a shot that rebounded off the post.
- The third line is on a heater: Michael Mancinelli is on a four-game point-scoring streak with a goal and assist tonight. Linemate Ryan O'Reilly had his second two point night in a row with another goal and assist to boast five points in the last three games. Linemate Chris Grando is on his own three-game point scoring streak with an assist on Saturday night.
- Ben Kraws made his 10th start this season and held the Golden Knights scoreless through two periods.
- Matthew Kopperud continues his reign as a top PPG scorer in the country. He netted his eighth tonight to hold second-most in the NCAA.
- Demetrios Koumontzis played in his 100th NCAA game on Saturday night.
- It is the first sweep of a ranked team this season for the Sun Devils and second sweep of the season at home.
- Jack Becker and Colin Theisen are the sole Sun Devil players with short handed goals this year.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) December 12, 2021
Head Coach Greg Powers
"We'll take the score, we'll take the sweep. I don't like how we closed it out. You can learn, it's a lot easier to learn from those mistakes in the third period when you end up winning. Kraws was really good for us in the third, held the fort down and we got a good sweep."
On the penalties:
"It's tough both ways, our kill was great. We didn't give up a power play goal all weekend. The kill did a great job and we got the big saves when we needed them. We'll take the sweep, that was an ugly game but somebody was going to win it and I'm glad we did."
On the defensive core:
"Really well. Minus those two penalties by those two young kids in the third that we talked about going into the third that they'll learn from."On the bottom-six forwards:
"They've been our best line for probably the last six games. They're doing everything the right way. They're moving their feet, they're getting pucks out and in, they're staying above pucks, they're just playing the right way. They're all really good players and three really good players that compliment each other very well and play the right way, this is what happens."
On the special teams:
"The power play got one. We've got to be sharper on it if we're going to continue to win games. The kill was struggling going into the weekend, and we got a lot of successful kills so it's a step going in the right direction."
On power play opportunities
"We were on the power play a lot in the first. But, really until the end of the game there, when they had all those powerp lays that we gave them, but somehow both teams had a five minute major and then found themselves down. It was the oddest thing and I don't think we'll ever see that again. But, I thought 5 on 5 we were very good defensively. We didn't give up really anything. The majority of their opportunities in the third came primarily in the power play and Ben shut the door."
On Ben Kraws:
"He was really good tonight. He did what he had to do to get us a win. No offense to that kid, he's a really good goalie on Clarkson but we had the better goalie tonight and I think that's why we won."
"I think our line does a really good job trusting each other, and knowing we're going to do our jobs. Just complementing each other really good out there, work well together and keep it simple."