MacInnis, Gutting and Slatky Combine for 46 Saves in Ice Hockey’s 4-1 Setback at Division I Arizona State

BOX SCORE

When and Where: January 21, 2017 – Tempe, Ariz. (Oceanside Arena)
Score: Arizona State University 4, Southern New Hampshire University 1
Records: SNHU 11-10, ASU 9-17-2

Juniors Matthew MacInnis (Arlington, Texas) and Ryan Slatky (Manchester, N.H.) combined with freshman Kurt Gutting (Weymouth, Mass.) to stop 46 shots, but a pair of second period markers lifted the Arizona State University ice hockey team to a 4-1 victory over Southern New Hampshire University at the Oceanside Arena on Saturday.

The three-goaltender system, deployed in an effort to curtail a Sun Devil offense that produced 11 goals on Friday night, surrendered just three goals on Saturday. MacInnis started each period and stopped 18 shots in 23:09 of action. Gutting provided middle relief and held ASU scoreless with 10 saves in 16:22. Slatky served as the Penmen closer and registered 18 stops in 18:13.

Jack Rowe, Dylan Hollman and Jakob Stridsberg each contributed single goals for Arizona State, while Anthony Croston potted an empty-netter. Robert Levin earned his second consecutive win in goal for ASU with 13 saves.

After shutting out the Sun Devils in the third period on Friday, MacInnis made several difficult saves to hold ASU off the board during the early stages of the first. Just under four minutes into the contest, MacInnis kicked aside a Steenn Pasichnuk one-time drive that was ticketed for the back of the net before making a trio of stops with just over 15 minutes left. Jake Clifford unloaded a shot from the point through traffic that was initially stopped, and point-blank attempts by Tyler Busch and Joe Lappin were also unsuccessful.

As MacInnis was holding strong in the crease, the Penmen generated a pair of scoring opportunities that nearly gave them the game's first goal. Sophomore Artem Efimov-Barakov (Khimki, Russia) won a battle for the puck at the top of the rightwing circle before sending a rink-wide pass to junior Kyle Valliere (Goffstown, N.H.) at the left side of the offensive blue line. Valliere drove the boards before cutting in at the dot and rifling a snapshot that went off the goaltender's mask and was smothered at 4:23. Just over a minute later, Southern New Hampshire was able to poke the puck between the Arizona State defense, and junior Chris Moquin (Hooksett, N.H.) took off in a footrace with the Sun Devil defenseman. Moquin won the battle and worked through a two-hand chop before having his breakaway wrist shot robbed  with 14:35 remaining.

After another highlight reel save by MacInnis, this time on Wade Murphy, Arizona State was able to strike for the game's first goal on the ensuing faceoff. Riley Simpson won the draw back to Nicholas Gushue, and he fired a shot on through traffic. Hollman was camped in front of the net, and he redirected Gushue's blast over MacInnis to make it 1-0 at 6:23.

The lead would be short lived, as Southern New Hampshire answered less than a minute later. Senior Devin Murray (Saugus, Mass.) keyed the play by gathering the puck in the left corner and firing a pass to junior Alec Cochran (Sanbornton, N.H.) at the right point. Cochran sent a drive on goal that was initially denied, but junior Griffin Rogers (Sanbornton, N.H.) deposited the rebound into the back of the net to provide the equalizer with 12:47 left in the period.

Gutting, who replaced MacInnis at 6:23, kept the score at one aside by thwarting a pair of Sun Devil scoring opportunities midway through the frame. ASU worked the puck out of the left corner to Pasichnuk at the top of the faceoff circle, and he rifled a shot on goal that Gutting got a glove on and sent into the protective netting with just over nine minutes to play. Two minutes later, Louie Rowe tried using his 6-foot-6-inch, 235-pound frame to muscle the puck past Gutting. Rowe gained possession of the puck beneath the goal line and began to back his way to the right side of the net and box out the Penmen defense. He gained position along the crease and tried hammering the puck home, but Gutting held the post and stopped both shots.

Slatky entered the contest following the saves by Gutting, and followed suit by making seven crucial saves to close out the frame. Murphy found himself all alone in front with just over four minutes remaining and teed up a shot that Slatky kicked away, and after the Sun Devils worked the puck back to the point, Drew Newmeyer sent a laser towards the net that was redirected and turned away.

Arizona State has its best opportunity to regain the one-goal edge with just under two minutes left, but Slatky was again up to the challenge. After the Penmen turned the puck over at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, it was fed out front to Busch, who was all by himself on the doorstep. Busch hammered a one-timer that was destined for the back of the net, but Slatky sprawled across the cage to keep the score intact.

With time winding down in the first, Southern New Hampshire generated an odd-man rush and nearly took its first lead of the weekend. Senior Jay Sylvia (Acushnet, Mass.) and graduate student Joe Collins (Mansfield, Mass.) navigated into the Sun Devils' end of the ice. Sylvia's pass to Collins was deflected up in the air, and Collins narrowly missed batting the puck into the open net with 1:06 left to go.

Not to be outdone, Arizona State gathered the loose puck and turned up ice towards the Penmen zone with a 2-on-1 opportunity. Slatky stopped the initial attempt, and following multiple deflections, added three additional saves to send both sides to the locker room with the score knotted at one.

MacInnis returned to start the second period and was immediately called upon to make an extraordinary save. Less than a minute into the second stanza, Busch won a puck battle at the hashmarks and was all alone with Rowe on the back post. Busch slid a pass over to Rowe looking for the one-time goal, but MacInnis slid post-to-post for a kick save to maintain the stalemate.

Arizona State was able to net the eventual game-winner just over four minutes into the second. Liam McGing sprung Rowe down the leftwing boards, and after driving towards the net, he cut across the bottom of the faceoff circle and tucked a shot just underneath the crossbar to make it 2-1 at 4:11.

The Sun Devils looked to add an insurance marker minutes later, as they moved the puck from the top of the leftwing faceoff circle into the slot. ASU went backdoor for Hollman, who was alone on the back post, but MacInnis darted across the goal line to kick the biscuit to the corner as his seven-minute spurt came to a close.

After another Penmen 2-on-1 was stopped by Levin, this time a glove save at 8:34, Gutting matched the feat on the other end of the ice moments later. Rowe and Robbie Baillargeon moved in on an odd-man rush and as they approached the hashmarks, Rowe sent a perfect pass to the tape of Baillargeon at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Gutting recognized the developing play and crashed the far post to stop Baillargeon and his rebound attempt to keep the score at 2-1.

Arizona State put the game out of reach with just under six minutes to play in the second stanza. The Sun Devils caught SNHU in a line change, and Stridsberg carried the puck down the leftwing side before unleashing a howitzer that increased the hosts' advantage to a pair with 5:48 remaining.

Croston capped the game's scoring by sliding in an empty netter from Georgy Gorodetsky at 19:04 of the third.

Notes:
- The Penmen made a total of 13 goaltender changes throughout the duration of the contest. MacInnis, who started each period, averaged seven minutes per period in goal. Gutting, who was first relief in all three frames, saw roughly six minutes of action in each stanza. Slatky closed out every period, and worked a nearly seven minute average during the first, second and third.
- Arizona State held a 50-14 edge in shots, including a 34-8 advantage over the final two periods of play.
- Southern New Hampshire held the Sun Devils scoreless on their five powerplay opportunities on Saturday, and combined to keep them off the board on eight man advantages in the weekend set.

What's Next:
The Penmen return to Northeast-10 Conference play on Wednesday when they welcome Stonehill College to the Ice Den for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.

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