Utah Men’s Hockey Splits Road Series against Arizona State


Kevin Cody

Utah hockey in a game against Arizona State University in Salt Lake City on Oct. 23, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Chase Mullin, Assistant Sports Editor


The last time Utah men’s hockey faced off against WCHL rivals Arizona State, it was an exciting two-game series in Salt Lake City that saw the Utes fall 7-4 on Friday night and bounce back to beat the Sun Devils 4-3 on Saturday in arguably the most exciting game the Utes have played all season.

This weekend, as the Utes traveled to Tempe to face the Sun Devils, the stakes were a little higher, as Utah, previously unranked in the ACHA, came into the weekend ranked No. 15 in the nation, while Arizona State, also previously unranked, rolled into the two-game series against the Utes ranked No. 24.

Friday’s series opener was a roller coaster, as the Sun Devils scored three goals in the first period, holding the Utes to just eight shots and no goals. Early on it certainly looked like Arizona State would run away with the game, but the Utes emerged as a completely different team in the second period.

Down 3-0 coming into second, the Utes completely dominated the period, outshooting the Sun Devils 21-12 and tying the game at 3-3 by the end of the period on Ute goals from Wyatt Light, Che Landikusic and captain Alexander King.

Unfortunately for the Utes, despite a dominating second period performance, the Sun Devils responded with three unanswered goals in the third period to win the game 6-3. While Utah outshot the Sun Devils 41-35 over the course of the game, the Utes still fell short in a contest that was much closer than the scoreboard might otherwise indicate.

Much like the previous three contests between the Utes and Sun Devils this season, Saturday’s game was close, competitive, and relatively chippy. Arizona State would strike first in the first period, but the Utes would respond with a power play goal from forward McKay Pond. With about five minutes remaining in the first period, the Utes went on the penalty kill where forward Landen Langenbrunner tallied a shorthanded goal, giving Utah a 2-1 lead which they would take into the second period.

Less than two minutes into the second, Arizona State would tie the game 2-2, and the score would remain this way until late in the period. With a little over two minutes remaining, Utah’s Light would steal back the lead for the Utes on a breakaway goal, giving him his second goal of the series. Utah would finish the second period with a 3-2 lead.

Just over a minute and a half into the third period, Light would score again on a two-on-one breakaway alongside Utes forward Benjamin Mickel, giving the Utes a semi-comfortable 4-2 lead early on. Midway through the third period, Utes forward Che Landikusic netted his second goal of the weekend with a wrist shot from the blue line, putting the Utes in complete control of the game with a 3-point lead. 

Tempers flared throughout the third period, with extracurricular activities after the whistle between these two teams occurring throughout the period. Utah’s victory was capped off by a cross-crease save from Ute’s goaltender Landon Anderson.

After a close game Friday night that didn’t fall Utah’s way, the Utes responded with a dominant road performance, beating the Sun Devils 5-2 on Saturday. With this series complete, the Utes have officially split the season series against the Sun Devils with two wins apiece.

The Utes return home next weekend against UNLV at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. The two-game series begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. MST and the teams will face off at the same time on Saturday.


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