Pioneers Blow Four Leads in Mullett Arena Debut to Fall to Arizona State in Overtime

#2 Denver (6-2-1, 2-0-0 NCHC) held four separate one-goal leads against #16 Arizona State (7-1-1) but they couldn’t hold any of them longer than two and half minutes. It was a wild game that saw Carter King score two shorthanded goals, ASU score twice on the power play, and the Sun Devils respond to DU goals within 30 seconds twice to erase Pioneer leads. In the end, ASU captain Tyler Gratton ended the game with a snipe past freshman goaltender Freddie Halyk, who had his first poor performance in his four games this season, to seal the 6-5 loss for the Pioneers.

Halyk, who had given up only two goals in his three starts (he shut out Air Force in his debut), stopped only 19 of ASU’s shots and, while he was largely left out to dry by his defensive teammates, he’d tell you most of ASU’s goals tonight should have been stopped. The Pios outshot the Sun Devils 40-25 and out-attempted them 59-42 but it was their inability to hold a lead thanks to some downright terrible turnovers and the power play’s incompetence  – the unit went just one-for-five and looked completely lost at times – that ruined the night.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, this DU team is young and has a number of difficult lessons to learn. You’d rather learn them in victories than in defeats, of course, but if you’re going to learn them in defeat, at least it’s only early November and not mid-February. While that certainly doesn’t diminish the sting and frustration of blowing four separate leads in a single game and wasting two shorthanded goals, it does offer a big-picture view and a small silver lining.

Denver will try to earn the split at Mullett Arena tomorrow night. The puck drops at 5pm Mountain time and you can stream the game for free on Pac-12 Now.







3 thoughts on “Pioneers Blow Four Leads in Mullett Arena Debut to Fall to Arizona State in Overtime”

  1. 6 GAs last night after only allowing 2 all of last weekend?!? Ouch. Sounds as though the defense and/or goaltending were abysmal.

  2. Hard to know if last night’s defensive performance was an aberration or the new normal with a young group.

    What I do know (and what you should know) is that that DU has the nation’s best offense at 4.89 GPG scored and only the 27th best team defense at 2.78 GAA. That tells you exactly what you need to know about how DU must improve.

    I am sure the coaches and team are well aware of last night’s poor performance, and that we should expect a more focused effort tonight. The sloppy play, the turnovers and the poor goaltending cannot be allowed to continue.

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