Photo Credit: Garrett James
TEMPE, AZ — While the SFU Men’s Hockey had managed a competitive first period against the Arizona State Sun Devils, and recovered in the third, five goals allowed in the second led to an 8-1 loss in the first of two exhibition games against the NCAA Division I team.
“The guys had played hard, I just don’t think we played a smart game,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “We have to play a little more balanced and pick our spots, we’ve got to manage the game a little bit better.”
SFU drew the first penalty of the game, but were unable to capitalize on the power play opportunity.
Defenceman Dustin Cave made a brilliant defensive play on the backcheck to block a passing lane of an Arizona State 2-on-1, and prevent a goal.
Defenceman Brinson Pasichnuk, of Bonnyville, Alberta — who was the only AJHL player ranked in the 2016 NHL Draft Rankings — opened the scoring for Arizona State with a hard shot through a screen 6:51 into the first period.
SFU goaltender Lyndon Stanwood was sharp in the first period to keep it a one-goal game.
In the second period, Arizona State exploded offensively, scoring five goals, mostly in bursts — two of them in a span of 44 seconds, and another two in the span of 1:20. 2014/15 Victoria Grizzlies leading goal scorer Brett Gruber put up the Sun Devils’ second goal on a 2-on-1. Brinson’s brother Steenn Pasichnuk put up the final goal of the frame.
Jaret Babych had the best chance for SFU of the period with a hard shot in alone against ASU goalie Robert Levin.
Brinson put up two more goals on the power play in the early part of the third period to complete a hattrick, and give the Sun Devils an eight goal lead.
SFU found their feet again in the third, applying some pressure against the Arizona State defence.
The Clan continued applying pressure for the rest of the game, and did not allow another goal.
Stanwood made 34 saves on 42 shots. SFU were outshot 42-20. SFU blocked 10 shots to Arizona State’s four.
“They’re one of the bigger teams we’ve played against at this level, they move the puck really nice — just everything’s one touch,” said Coletta. “We gave them a little bit too much time and space. They’re definitely a quality hockey team and we have to do a better job containing them.”
The Clan will look for revenge tomorrow night in a rematch against Arizona State. Jordan Liem will get the start in net. Puck drop is at 6:05 pm. The game can be watched live on http://pac-12.com/live/arizona-state-university-2.
AROUND THE BCIHL: Despite getting outshot 27-22, Trinity Western delivered the Selkirk College Saints their third straight loss, with a 4-1 victory at the Langley Events Centre. Florian Neidermaier put up both the first and last goal for the Spartans. Ryan Edwards put up Selkirk’s only goal. Silas Matthys made 26 saves on 27 shots (.963 SV%). Trinity Western are now six points back of SFU’s first place spot with a game in hand.