Freshman forward Justin Ertel scored his first collegiate goal, but Arizona State rallied for a pair of goals in the second period to take control of a game that it eventually rode to a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena.
Cornell (9-2-1) followed up its strong start to the unofficial first half of the season with a first period in which it took a 1-0 lead on the strength of Ertel’s strike at the 10:21 mark. Sophomore Kyle Penney started the play by creating a turnover on the forecheck, then senior forward Brenden Locke provided a crease-side feed for Ertel convert. The helper gave Locke six points in his last four games.
Unfortunately for the Big Red, it turned out to be the only lead it would enjoy in its first game action since the four-week hiatus to accommodate final exams and the holiday break. Arizona State (11-10) proved opportunistic in striking for goals on the rush by Colin Thiesen and Christopher Grando in the second period, then Matthew Kopperud jammed in a rebound with 12:30 left to give the home side control.
Freshman forward Ondrej Psenicka’s extra-attcker goal gave the Big Red a glimmer of hope with 1:24 left in the third period, cutting Cornell’s deficit to one goal. Junior forward Matt Stienburg drew an assist on the goal to push his scoring streak to 11 straight games – the longest for a Big Red player since Doug Derraugh ’91 also posted 19 points through 11 games during his senior season.
Arizona State then salted the game away with empty-net goals from Jack Becker and Sean Dhooghe over the final 62 seconds, inflating the final margin.
The teams will meet up again for a rematch at 7:05 p.m. MT on Sunday.