It’s been a very long time since the Arizona State Sun Devils left their campus on Tempe for a 36-day road trip, the longest ever by a college hockey team.
But taking classes remotely and playing hockey in empty buildings, Arizona State is ready to return home on a high note after a 3-2 upset victory on Friday over No. 18 Ohio State.
The victory follows a 4-4 tie with the Buckeyes on Thursday and sends Arizona State back to campus with a 4-6-2 record. It was the sixth game decided by one goal or less and the fifth in a row.
On Friday, Jack Judson played the role of hero, finishing off some nifty tic-tac-toe passing on the power play to break a 2-2 tie with 11.4 second remaining in the middle period.
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) December 18, 2020
From there, Evan Debrouwer (37 saves) shut the door in the final period to earn the victory, the first for the Sun Devils since Dec. 3.
The two teams traded power play goals to open the scoring with Ohio State jumping on top at 3:43 of the first on Layton Ahac’s goal. It took a while, but Arizona State had the response on the man advantage at 11:33 of the second when Matthew Kopperud tallied.
That started a flurry of goals that included markers from Ohio State’s Matt Cassidy at 12:23 and Jacob Wilson for the Sun Devils at 15:46.
After moving from city-to-city, campus-to-campus for more than five weeks, the Sun Devils can return to sunny Arizona for a few weeks. The team is playing its entire season on the road against Big Ten opponents and will return to play on January 2 and 3 when they travel to current No. 1 Minnesota.
No. 17 Omaha 6, Western Michigan 5
Seventeenth-ranked Omaha rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 to score four of the game’s final five goals and earn a 6-5 victory over Western Michigan.
Chayse Primeau’s goal with 7:22 remaining broke a 5-5 and closed out a three-point night (goal, two assists) for the Maverick’s leading scorer. Taylor Ward netted two goals and two assists to lead Omaha.
— Omaha Video (@OmahaVID) December 19, 2020
Isaiah Saville (14 saves, 31:41) earned the victory in relief for the Mavericks, who improve to 5-3-1 win one game remaining in the NCHC pod. Omaha will close things in the NCHC pod against Colorado College on Monday.
No. 13 Bowling Green 4, No. 11 Quinnipiac
In Friday’s only battle of nationally-ranked teams, No. 13 Bowling Green manhandled No. 11 Quinnipiac, allowing the Bobcats just seven shots on goal over the first two period while skating to a 4-1 victory.
The Falcons scored twice on 17 shots in the first while allowing the Bobcats just two shots on goal. Alex Barber opened the scoring at 14:19 and Taylor Schneider extended the lead with 30 seconds to go in the opening frame.
While shots in the second weren’t as lopsided, Bowling Green continued to maintain a strong advantage, despite neither team finding the back of the net.
As Quinnipiac finally began to get puck on Bowling Green netminder Zack Rose (23 saves), it was the Falcons who extended the lead on Evan Dougherty’s marker with 6:11 left.
Nick Bochen broke the shutout at 14:57 before Brandon Kruse sealed the victory into the empty net at 17:32.
Bowling Green was strong on special team, scoring twice in six power play opportunity while killing seven Quinnipiac man advantages.