SDSU splits series with Sun Devils

by David Frerker , Contributor

The San Diego State hockey club split the two-game weekend series against the Sun Devils of Arizona State University. Friday night’s 6-5 Aztec victory gave ASU its first regular season loss of the season. SDSU was shut out 5-0 in Saturday’s game.

Five SDSU players found the back of the ASU net on Friday night.

Freshman forward Patrick Miller scored his first two goals of the 2014 season in the first period. Miller’s second goal of the night came during an Aztec power play.

The rest of the Aztecs wound up scoring in the second period.

The most impressive goal of the second period came from senior defenseman Thomas Lapp, whose 11th-minute score sparked the raucous crowd at the Kroc Ice Arena.

Senior forward Conor Pope would score the eventual leading goal for the Aztecs with three minutes remaining in the second period of play.

Junior Connor O’Brien made his fourth start of the season for SDSU on Friday, recording 42 saves on 47 Sun Devil shots. In total the Aztecs were out shot 47-29 on Friday night. SDSU made one goal on three power play opportunities.

Senior forward Anthony Mata, who is tied as Aztecs’ leading scorer, injured two fingers on his left hand in the first period of the game after colliding with one of the Sun Devils. Mata managed to stay in the game, becoming a major factor in the Aztecs’ victory.

After the game concluded Mata was awarded the game puck by Aztec assistant coach Doug Laycock for his gutsy performance.

“It feels really good to have been given the game puck,” Mata said. “Especially with my hand, it was hard to give the team a good game and that was something that I was disappointed about. The fact that the team still supported me and gave me the game puck meant a lot.“

Mata was then sent to the hospital by the SDSU training staff for X-rays, which proved to be negative and had no factor in his status for the following game.

SDSU versus ASU

The Aztecs were unable to muster any goals against ASU on Saturday. The SDSU goalies were overwhelmed by offensive attack of ASU almost the entire weekend.

The Aztec goalie combination of O’Brien and senior Filip Curkovic made 67 saves on a total of 77 Sun Devil Shots. ASU would out shoot SDSU over the two game series 77 to 60.

SDSU will continue its five-game homestand at 9 p.m. this Friday at the Kroc Ice Arena. The Aztecs will battle the Spartans of California State University, San Jose.

“SJSU is a huge game and it’s a huge rivalry. SJSU is always a well-fought game,” Senior forward John Riley said. “We have to come ready to play and hopefully we can get that win.”

Admission is free for SDSU students with a valid Red ID.