After a sweep of the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, the no. 16/13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to Compton Family Ice Arena for a Thursday-Friday series against the no. 20 Arizona State Sun Devils. The Sun Devils, who are playing a Big Ten schedule this season, had an impressive upset weekend sweep of their own, defeating a Wisconsin Badgers team who swept the Irish to open the season.
The start of Thursday’s contest could not have been any worse for the Irish. Just eleven seconds after the opening face-off, 2018 Detroit Red Wings draft pick Ryan O’Reilly got the Sun Devils on the board. Just over a minute later, fellow Sun Devil freshman forward Matthew Kopperud gave Arizona State a 2-0 lead.
With eight minutes left in the opening period, the Irish found themselves on the power-play for the first time. A rebound off a Nick Leivermann shot found its way to Trevor Janicke, who put it home to cut the Arizona State lead in half. The offensive fireworks would continue when ASU sophomore Jax Murray made it 3-1 less than a minute later.
In the final minute of the period, Graham Slaggert netted his first goal of the season, thanks in part to his brother Landon keeping alive another rebound off a Leivermann shot from the point. After one period of play, the Irish trailed 3-2.
Just over five minutes into the middle frame, Leivermann was called for tripping and the Sun Devils were on their first power-play of the night. The Irish were able to kill off the penalty to keep it a one goal game, but not for long. Shortly after the power-play, Demetrios Koumontzis was able to get the puck past Ryan Bischel thanks to a great assist from Michael Mancinelli.
A wrister from Nate Clurman shot found its way through a screen to make it 4-3 at 12:54 in the period. The goal was the second in as many weeks for the Notre Dame captain as his team would enter the third period needing one to even the score.
Love to Ⓒ it.#GoIrish☘️ pic.twitter.com/VuicaElSXV— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) December 4, 2020
The Irish controlled the puck for much of the third, out-shooting the Sun Devils 10-7. Janicke nearly tied it with a short range shot but couldn’t get it past Evan DeBrouwer. Midway through the period, Arizona State made it a two-goal lead on Kopperud’s second of the night. Murray would later get his own second goal of the night on an empty netter and make it a final of 6-3.
Arizona State: Ryan O’Reilly at 00:11 of the 1st, assisted by James Sanchez and Chris Granado
Arizona State: Matthew Kopperud at 01:55 of the 1st, assisted by Demetrios Koumontzis and Jordan Sandhu
Notre Dame: Trevor Janicke (PPG) at 12:54 of the 1st, assisted by Nick Leivermann and Matt Hellickson
Arizona State: Jax Murray at 13:49 of the 1st, assisted by Benji Eckerle
Notre Dame: Graham Slaggert at 19:09 of the 1st, assisted by Landon Slaggert and Nick Leivermann
Arizona State: Demetrios Koumontzis at 06:53 of the 2nd, assisted by Michael Mancinelli and Matthew Kopperud
Notre Dame: Nate Clurman at 12:54 of the 2nd, assisted by Max Ellis and Jake Pivonka
Arizona State: Matthew Kopperud at 09:06 of the 3rd, assisted by Demetrios Koumontzis
Arizona State: Jax Murray (ENG) at 17:23 of the 3rd, assisted by Willie Knierim and Jacob Wilson
Arizona State: Jacob Semik, 2 for hooking at 12:00 in the 1st
Notre Dame: Nick Leivermann, 2 for tripping at 04:43 of the 2nd
Notre Dame: Ryan Bischel (L) saved 20 of 25 shots, Dylan St. Cyr saved 2 of 2 shots
Arizona State: Evan DeBrouwer (W) saved 31 of 34 shots
Notre Dame takes on Arizona State in the series finale on Friday at 7:00 PM ET on NBCSN.