Hockey Brings Out the Brooms Against No. 9 Cornell
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona State men's ice hockey team (12-10-0) took an early lead on Sunday night and never looked back, completing a 3-2 win and series sweep over No. 9 Cornell (9-3-1). Goals from three Sun Devil skaters and 31 saves from Cole Brady fueled ASU's first sweep over a top-10 team since defeating No. 9 Quinnipiac in November 2019.
"We started really well. We were opportunistic." said head coach Greg Powers after his team tallied all three of their goals in the first period. "This weekend we played like we know we can play. We can't let this effort go to waste, and I have every bit of confidence in our guys that we won't."
The sweep in Tempe is the second-straight over a ranked team. In early December, the Sun Devils earned the two-game series sweep over then-No. 18 Clarkson. ASU is now 5-7 against ranked teams this season and 5-3 against poll teams at home.
Ty Murchison, Josh Doan, and Ryan O'Reilly all lit the lamp on Sunday night. Doan's 21 points on the season is tied as the nation lead of all scoring by freshmen. Chris Grando and Michael Mancinelli finished the night with two points each.
Cole Brady got the start in net again for ASU, and his 31 saves on 33 shots improved him to 9-7 on the season.
"He was calm," said Powers on Brady's performance. "He was really good. He stood tall when we needed him to and it settled the team, and he is a hell of a goalie. We all know that, and he proved that this weekend."
Now, let's talk about this offense, and you know what they say: the best things come in threes.
ASU's three goals in the first period were the most allowed by Cornell in the opening frame this season. Ty Murchison picked up right where the Sun Devils left off last night and put ASU on the board early, just 1:43 into the first period to be exact, with the help of Mike Mancinelli who earned the assist on the early attack. One Sun Devil penalty kill and a few shots later, Josh Doan joined in on the fun and found the back of the net at 11:38 into the period.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) January 3, 2022
Ryan O'Reilly capped off the first period with his fifth goal of the season with 1:13 just remaining in the first frame for the much-needed 3-0 cushion headed into the second.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) January 3, 2022
After a quick goalie change, Cornell struck back with an early goal at 1:53 into the second to pull within two. The two teams put up shots during a relatively quiet stretch, and ASU was gifted their first PP of the game with 2:31 remaining with Big Red called for roughing. The Sun Devils were unable to capitalize, and took their 3-1 lead into the final frame.
Another early goal from Cornell in the third pulled them within one and a quick power play opportunity for ASU came shortly after. That PP went without a score and the game remained 3-2. ASU had a huge opportunity to extend their lead when a game misconduct was issued to Cornell at 8:25. But the man-advantage couldn't convert against Cornell's 11th ranked PK squad which ultimately killed the penalty. With two minutes remaining Cornell vacated the net for the 6-on-5 advantage but it again was too little too late.
Despite a scoreless second and third period for the Sun Devils, Coach Powers reiterated the importance of a ranked sweep, "You don't ever complain about how when you sweep a top-10 team."
1:43 ASU (1-0): Ty Murchison opened up scoring to get ASU on the board in the first two minutes of the game, with the help of Mike Mancinelli, who recorded the assist on his early score.
11:38 ASU (2-0): In his second game wearing #94 for ASU, Josh Doan found the net midway through the first with assists by newly returned Johnny Walker and Chris Grando to notch the Sun Devils' second of the game.
18:47 ASU (3-0): Ryan O'Reilly's goal came in the final minutes of the first period with the help of Chris Grando and Mike Mancinelli who each recorded their second point of the game on O'Reilly's score.
1:53 Cornell (3-1): Cornell's first goal of the game comes minutes into the second period to pull within two goals.
2:05 Cornell (3-2): Big Red scored another goal in the opening minutes of a period, but this time in the third to bring them within one.
UP NEXT: Hockey leaves sunny Arizona for the chill of Massachusetts with a two-game roadie at Boston University on Jan 7-8. Games will be viewable via the Hockey East broadcast, and puck drops at 5:30 and 5:00 pm MST, respectively.
On the weekend:
"It's a top-10 team. You know they're going to make their push. They're really good. We got through it. We got more saves when we needed them. You don't ever complain about how when you sweep a top-10 team."
On sweeping a top-10 team:
"We know what we have. We've never faltered with what we have. We believe in what we have. This weekend we played like we know we can play. We can't let this effort go to waste, and I have every bit of confidence in our guys that we won't."
On the momentum of a home sweep heading into the road series:
"We know how good we are here. We're 10-4 here and now we have to go collect some road wins to keep climbing the pairwise. We know that, and we have four straight on the road. We're going to stay out east bond as a team even more and get some good practices in out there and be gone for 10 days. I think it will be good for our entire team to do that."
On starting fast:
"We started really well. We were opportunistic. We buried our chances there, and I really like how we played in the second too. Once they scored on us, after the first five minutes we settled in and we had a ton of chances we just didn't put it away. That kid they brought in did a hell of a job. That's his first action he's ever seen and he was really good, so hats off to him. (Ian) Shane did really well. Again, it's a hell of a team they are going to make their pushes. That's why they're Cornell and they're incredibly well coached."
On this series preparing for more ranked teams:
"It's one at a time. It's so cliche, but we have no other choice. We have to go on a run here and win a lot of games if we want to get to the tournament. This is a great start to the second half, doing what we did this weekend. Now, we go to BU and we focus on them Friday. We have a short week. We fly out Wednesday and we have BU Friday. They are a really talented team from top to bottom. They're trying to push just like we are, so we focus on them now."
On a defenseman scoring a goal
"When you're D are active and they're jumping the play and we attack in ways we want, we are tough to deal with. We're really good in transition, how well we skate it's tough to defend. We're buzzing, that's what we're doing really well."
On Cole Brady's play this weekend heading into an important stretch:
"His freshman year he reset after break and finished strong, and I anticipated that he would probably do the same. From the net out, a really good way to start the second half. He was calm. He was really good. He stood tall when we needed him to and it settled the team, and he is a hell of a goalie. We all know that, and he proved that this weekend."
On special teams:
"Power play had a ton of looks. That kid made some big saves, and obviously we didn't get one (PPG), but he killed every penalty that we took. We were really disciplined this weekend. We will take one tonight. We take three penalties on the weekend, that's really good against a physical team. Again, if we are going to get to where we need to go, we need to start scoring some power play goals, but I thought it was a step in the right direction. Johnny had some looks, Kop had some looks, some loose pucks in front that just didn't go in for us. Again, we got a sweep."
On having Johnny Walker on the PP unit:
"He's dangerous. You have to respect him when he's out there if you're the other team and right now, being able to throw two newer units out with him being out for so long in the first half, you have him on one offhand and Kopper on the other unit. You have to be on your toes as a penalty kill. I thought the power play looked pretty good tonight. Johnny is just going to get better and better. He had a great assist on that goal that Doaner scored to Grando, and a point in each game coming back from such a long layoff, so he's only going to get better and better."
On his goal and the importance of crashing the net:
"I think all around it was a great play. Johnny soaring down to the blue line and hit Grando with speed coming down the middle and it was a sick pass from Grando over D-man and back door to me. It makes my job easy just putting that in the net. To win big games you have to score goals around the net so we will take those when we can get them."
On getting on the board during the first period surge:
"Whenever I can help out I want to do that, and I think it felt good to get one on the board. It's been awhile for me, so it felt good to get one for Matt (Shott) after losing him a couple of days ago. It was just a big goal for me and the team."
On being on a line with two graduate students:
"I think it's been pretty fun. No matter what you're doing they're always there to help you through tough situations and just having the confidence of knowing they're there with you and every time they have the puck just finding a way to get open for them because they're both smart hockey players and know what it takes to win games and create offense. I think it's just learning from them and taking it one game at a time when you get the opportunity to play with those guys."
On his energy level with an empty net:
"At that point you have to do whatever you can to win the game. If you have to tackle a guy in front of the net that's what you have to do."
On relying on his experience to close out games:
"I've played a lot of college games, so I think I am aware along the way. At this point it's my fifth year of college hockey so I use all of that experience to do the best I can and improve."