Penn State lost its first game of the season in overtime to Arizona State by a final score of 4-3.
As they did in game one of the series, Arizona State came to play. PJ Marrocco got the game’s opening goal three minutes in on a quick shot that beat Peyton Jones over his shoulder. Penn State responded well after giving up the opening goal and was able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for a large part of the rest of the first period, but they couldn’t solve Joey Daccord. The first period ended with the Sun Devils holding a 1-0 lead.
P.J. Marrocco (3)
Denis Smirnov (2)
Johnny Walker (10)
Dylan Hollman (6)
Evan Barratt (3)
Nate Sucese (3)
Johnny Walker (11)
Penn State would answer back five minutes into the second on a Denis Smirnov power-play goal. Nikita Pavlychev found a wide open Smirnov who buried his wrister in the back of the net. Arizona State had the answer to the Smirnov goal and was able to put two past Jones in the second half of the period. Johnny Walker got his tenth goal of the season on a two-on-one with Austin Lemieux. Lemieux set the Walker shot on a platter and there was nothing Jones could do to keep it out of the net. Dylan Hollman gave the Sun Devils a two-goal lead two minutes before the break on a shot that trickled through Jones. Penn State outshot Arizona State 25-19 through two periods, but the Sun Devils held the 3-1 lead where it matters.
Penn State needed and got another electric third period to climb back into the game. Three minutes into the period, Evan Barratt scored the best goal in the history of Pegula Ice Arena with a lacrosse style shot from behind the net to bring Arizona State’s lead back to one. Seriously. The goal was incredible.
Penn State continued to pressure ASU as the period wore on, but Joey Daccard made things difficult. With two and a half minutes left in the game, Peyton Jones went to the bench for the extra skater and Penn State was able to capitalize. Nikita Pavlychev picked up the puck behind the net and fed a waiting Nate Sucese in front of the net to tie the game 3-3. Penn State had a few chances in the last minute of the game but could not score again. The game would need overtime.
Penn State came out flying in overtime and was putting on the pressure. Until the one person that can’t get a breakaway got a breakaway. Johnny Walker picked up the puck on a weird bounce in the neutral zone and beat Jones to win the game for Arizona State.
- Penn State played its best hockey with its back up against the wall in the third period and that’s both a blessing and a curse. Responding well when you’re down is good, but being down in the first place is bad and Penn State will need to avoid flat starts if it hopes to keep pace in the Big Ten.
- The odd man rush issue reared its ugly head again, and Arizona State was again able to make Penn State pay for those mistakes. Guy Gadowsky was visibly flustered when talking about how this problem seems to happen again and again and again. Who’s to blame him?
- As far as I’m concerned, Peyton Jones has won back his starting goaltender positon. He played well tonight despite giving up four goals, and when two of those happened on odd man rushes, there’s not a whole lot you can critique about a goaltender’s performance.
- This officiating crew was terrible, and I just needed to get that off my chest. They didn’t impact the series one way or the other, but they were so bad at conducting face offs that its worth spending the time to write about how bad they were.