Sun Devils take OT win behind goaltending

0
93

HOUGHTON, Mich. – When Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Greg Powers sat down to plan out where to start recruiting after it was announced that his team was going to be transitioning to Division I, he knew he needed one key ingredient above all the others, a goaltender.

Now in his second season with the Sun Devils, Joey Daccord has proven to be that guy. Daccord had all seven wins the team had earned coming into Friday night’s tilt with the Michigan Tech Huskies at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.

With 39 saves, including 16 in the third period alone, Daccord was the difference in a 2-1 overtime win for the Sun Devils.

“Joey really held us in it,” said Powers. “When he plays as well as he did (Friday)…I thought he was fighting it in the first. He wasn’t that sharp.

“He was really good in the second on a couple of power plays. Then, he was lights out in the third. He held us in it.”

For the Huskies, running into a hot goaltender was not a new experience, but it was one that they again struggled to overcome.

“Their goaltender was absolutely outstanding,” said Huskies coach Joe Shawhan. “That is Division I goaltending. We have had a lot of goaltenders steal games against us this year.”

Daccord made 10 stops in the opening frame, none bigger than one off of the stick of Huskies assistant captain Jake Lucchini, who had stolen the puck from an Arizona State defender and gotten in alone just five minutes into the contest.

Lucchini did best Daccord on the power play at 12:49 when he positioned himself in a place in the slot where winger Gavin Gould could feed him for a quick wrister.

From there, Daccord took over the contest.

He stopped point-blank shots from winger Justin Misiak and Lucchini in the first two and a half minutes of the second period before later stopping Misiak on two Grade A chances from just outside the crease on a power play.

Shortly after those first two saves in the middle frame, Daccord helped himself out by feeding the puck up the ice to David Norris, who was open at the Huskies’ blue line. Two passes later, Johnny Walker was taking advantage of a defensive miscue by the Huskies and flipping the puck over Huskies captain Brent Baltus and goaltender Devin Kero to tie the game at 2:52.

The Huskies dominated the third period getting chance after chance and eventually outshooting the Sun Devils, 16-2. However, it was Arizona State who had arguably the best scoring chance when assistant captain Brinson Pasichnuk found his brother, Steenn, in the slot on a 2-on-1 break.

While that play did not lead to a goal, Brinson did connect in overtime with Jacob Wilson for a shot that would find its way past Kero for the game-winning tally at 2:24 of the first extra session.