Las Vegas, N.V. – Sin City is for the Sun Devils, and the Sun Devils ONLY. The Arizona State men's ice hockey team defeated No. 6/7 North Dakota, 3-2, in front of over 15,000 Fighting Hawks fans in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.
The David versus Goliath victory is the highest ranked win for ASU since the Sun Devils defeated UND's conference neighbor, then-No. 4 Denver in a 4-1 win in Tempe on Dec. 6, 2019. The Sun Devils have now upset nine top-10 opponents in their seven-year history.
ASU stays undefeated in Las Vegas (3-0) as the crowned champions of the 2018 Ice Vegas Tournament at T-Mobile Arena.
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UND scored the opening goal of the desert duel a little after seven minutes into the introductory period. Two minutes later, the Fighting Hawks landed the first power play opportunity of the night and capitalized with a power play goal to extend their lead, 2-0.
ASU enjoyed its first power play opportunity 15 minutes into the first period and sophomore forward Matthew Kopperud netted ASU's first of the night to cut the UND lead in half. Kopperud was assisted by senior defenseman Jack Judson on his third goal of the season.
After a quiet start to the second period, play opened up when ASU went on its second power play of the night. Junior forward Lukas Sillinger scored the tying goal, his second goal of the season, from the top of the circle with assists from Kopperud and senior forward Robert Mastrosimone.
ASU killed three penalties and deafened the Fighting Hawks' power play, which ranked second in the NCAA before Saturday night's game with a 35.5 percentage.
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Nothing says we're back for the third period better than a goal in the first 24 seconds of the frame. Mastrosimone got one of his own with an assist from Sillinger to take the lead.
ASU blocked 22 UND shots, the most in a game this season while TJ Semptimphelter stood on his head between the pipes with 13 saves in his ninth consecutive start. For only the second time this season UND was held scoreless for two periods. The Fighting Hawks scored two first period goals against then-No. 8/7 Quinnipiac, but ultimately fell 6-2 after being held scoreless through the second and third periods.
With tonight's game-winning goal, Mastrosimone is on a three-game goal-scoring streak.