A night after #20 Arizona State completed the upset for the Sun Devils’ first-ever victory over a top-5 team, it took a goal from Cole Guttman with 40 seconds left for the #4 Denver Pioneers to avoid a sweep and secure a 2-2 tie at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Since starting the season 8-0-0, the Pioneers have gone 1-4-3 against Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Western Michigan, and now Arizona State.
If the Pioneers played lackluster, sluggish hockey a night ago, this game was the polar opposite as Denver outshot ASU 46-22 and dominated possession from start to finish. However, not only did Sun Devils goaltender Evan DeBrouwer stand on his head to keep the Pioneers at bay throughout the game, Denver’s transition defense struggled to keep ASU off the scoreboard. Arizona State scored twice in transition off of bad Denver turnovers, something that has been a troubling trend over the past 8 games.
Cole Guttman did cash in twice – once in the first period to tie and and then, of course, again with 40 seconds left to tie it again – thanks to Denver’s strong offensive pressure to avoid the sweep.
In the end, this is another disappointing weekend to continue a brutal stretch for Denver. If there are any positives to take away, it’s that the Pioneers found their offensive rhythm tonight and had it not been for a career performance by DeBrouwer, this might be a much happier recap. And with the first home-and-home of the season with Colorado College looming next weekend, Denver may be able to use the offensive momentum from tonight and carry it over into next weekend’s Gold Pan matchup.