Prescott Valley, AZ – It’s been an adventure following the Huskies this season. A perfect example was Saturday vs host Arizona State University in the third place game of the Desert Classic Hockey Tournament. After forging a 3-0 lead and seemingly cruising along to victory, the Huskies allowed two goals in a span of less than two minutes and then held on for a 4-2 win at the Prescott Valley Events Center in Arizona on New Years Eve.
Robby Jackson who tends to be streaky from an offensive standpoint netted three goals including the game-winner and two short-handed goals to lead the Huskies to the win. After a scoreless stretch in the first period, Jackson finally gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead on his 4th goal of the season at 18:19 of the first period with an assist from Nick Poehling. The penalty kill which has been superb as of late also killed two ASU man-advantage opportunities as SCSU held onto a 1-0 lead by the end of the first period. SCSU was outshot 7-6 by the Sun Devils in period one.
The Huskies, with an obvious advantage in speed and skill added two more goals in period two stretching the lead to 3-0 over tournament host ASU. First, Jack Poehling punched a rebound past ASU’s Joey Daccord in a mad scramble in front of the ASU net at 5:24 via assists from both brothers Nick and Ryan Poehling. This was Poehling’s third goal of the season. Next, Jackson (unassisted) added his second goal of the evening at 16:41 beating Daccord one on one on a breakaway while the Huskies were short-handed. SCSU outshot ASU 9-8 in period two and appeared to be in full control of the contest heading into the final period.
While things appeared to be comfortably in hand, the Sun Devils proved otherwise scoring twice within a span of 1:39 to make it a one-goal game at 3-2. First, Tyler Busch scored his third goal of the season at 8:33 and this was followed by another Sun Devil goal by Steenn Pasichnuk and suddenly the Huskies were looking over their shoulder. The game got even more tenuous after a high-sticking penalty to Ryan Poehling at 18:21 allowing ASU to pull goaltender Daccord for a 6 X 4 advantage. However, the Huskies held on and sprung Jackson loose to be credited with his third goal of the game at 19:59 after being hooked by the Sun Devils Nicholas Gushue.
SCSU killed five ASU man-advantage opportunities in the game continuing a streak of six games and 22 straight power play opportunities by an opponent without scoring. SCSU was 0/2 on the power play but added two short-handed goals in the contest. The Huskies outshot ASU 27 to 25 for the game and Jeff Smith stopped 23 of 25 ASU shots on goal in earning the win and evening his record to 3-3-0. The Sun Devils Joey Daccord turned aside 23 of 26 SCSU shots on goal to drop his record to 2-7-0.
SCSU returns to conference play with a road series at Miami in Oxford, OH next weekend.
Stars of the Game: Jackson (SCSU), Nick Poehling (SCSU), Steenn Pasichnuk (ASU)