Power plays undo Flames in 7-0 loss at NCAA Div. I ASU
Four third-period goals, including two on a five-minute power play in the final seven minutes of action, turned a competitive showdown with former league rival Arizona State into a lopsided loss for Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team, Saturday night at Oceanside Arena in Tempe, Ariz.
The 2014 ACHA DI national champion Sun Devils, now an NCAA Division I program, improved to 4-0 against ACHA competition this season and 9-22-4 overall with the 7-0 victory as freshman goalie David Jacobson recorded ASU's first shutout of the season.
"They scored four power play goals, three in the third period," Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said. "You can't put them on the power play and not expect them to score. Up until that point, I really liked our game. We competed hard tonight and it was a great opportunity to see that level of play and moving forward, it's going to make us a better program, for sure."
Arizona State outshot the Flames by a three-to-one margin, 55-18, for the contest and Liberty junior goalie Matt Pinel made 48 saves.
"Matt played solid for us in net," Handy said. "We definitely had some opportunities, we just weren't able to bear down on them."
Liberty launched five of its 18 shots in the opening minute of its first power play of the game, with 14:02 left in the second period. But the Flames were called for a penalty, evening action at four-on-four for the next minute, and the Sun Devils capitalized on a power play at the 11:15 mark.
Seven ASU players scored, starting with junior forward Ryan Belonger less than six minutes after the opening faceoff. Graduate forward Liam Norris, freshman defenseman Nicholas Gushue, freshmen forwards Anthony Croston, Joe Lappin, and Cody Gylling, and junior forward Ryan Ostertag added goals while Belonger, Norris, Lappin, freshman forward Jordan Masters, sophomore defenseman Ed McGovern, and senior defenseman Jordan Young had more than one point, led by Norris' goal and two assists.
Liberty will host No. 3-ranked Minot State (29-2-2), the 2013 ACHA DI national champions, next Friday and Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. in the LaHaye Ice Center in the regular-season finale for both teams.