After finishing a tough road trip 1-2 against a couple of ranked opponents, the Wildcats will hit the road again this weekend to take on Arizona State in Tempe. The series opener is Friday night at 8:00 p.m. while game two is Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Despite dropping two of three on its last road trip, the Wildcats defeated No. 5 Central Oklahoma last Thursday 2-1. Alex O’Dea scored the first goal on a breakaway goal. In a 1-1 tie, Robert Smythe scored the go ahead goal, his first as a Wildcat. Garrett Patrick was a force behind the net as he stopped 29 of 30 shots on goal.
“Another gutsy effort,” Head coach Chad Berman said. “We battled hard and found a way. Total team win.”
The Wildcats then travelled to Oklahoma City to take on No. 9 Oklahoma for a two-game set. In a tightly contested game Friday night, the Wildcats dropped its first game of the season to the Sooners 4-1.
The game was scoreless into the second period until Joe Vuolo scored for the Sooners. The Wildcats were unable to stop the bleeding in the third when the Sooners scored three straight to take a 4-0. Nick Zellmer scored the lone goal for the Wildcats on an assist from captains O’Dea and Dylan Carter.
In the finale in the road trip against the Sooners, the Wildcats found themselves down 4-1 in the third period and managed to come back within a single goal thanks to scores from Kyle Fargesen, Toppie Hogan and Chris Westlund.
Down by one, the Wildcats pulled the goalie in attempt to tie the game, but the Sooners scored an empty-netter to ice the game. However coach Berman was happy to see his team fight till the end against a top-10 opponent.
“We never stopped battling which made me proud,” Berman said. “To put up that kind of comeback on a team of that quality on the road shows our potential.”
The Sun Devils come into Friday’s contest 4-1 on the season with wins over Utah, Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma. The Devils’ lone loss on the season came against Central Oklahoma 3-2 last Saturday.
The Sun Devils are led offensively by Ryan Ostertag who leads the team with 10 points with five goals and five assists apiece.