Penalty kills worked in NAU’s favor against ASU

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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 3:00 pm

The NAU D2 Ice Jacks completed the weekend against ASU D2 with another win on Saturday, Oct. 13. This second game of their short weekend series was closer than the first game as NAU prevailed winning 4-3. With a surprising total of 22 penalties throughout the entire game, it was very noticeable that both teams were retaliating against each other.

The majority of penalties came out in the third period when ASU was struggling to tie the game up. ASU had six penalties against them in the third for a total of 20 minutes. What hurt ASU the most was when one of their players, Tim Kennedy, had a 10 minute infraction against him for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Ice Jacks had their fair share of penalties as well with a total of five penalties adding up to 10 minutes in the third.

NAU’s forward Tegan Harrington had a penalty against him for holding in the second period and thought all the penalties in the third are just what happens in ice hockey.

“In an in-state rivalry game like this we have been trying to bag them all weekend, and toward the end they were getting pretty upset so they were taking some penalties,” Harrington said. “We started to retaliate, and that is what we don’t want to do, but we pulled it off.”

Harrington was able to take advantage of their power play opportunities by scoring the first goal of the game during an ASU roughing penalty. Desmond Conley and Lucas Lomax were also credited for assists during this play.

“Honestly, I am a net guy,” Harrington said. “So I stand there and create havoc. I think Desmond got a one timer straight at the five-hole, so I just had to push it in.”

Not only did the Ice Jacks try to capitalize on their power plays, but so did ASU as two of their goals scored during the game were from power plays as well.

NAU goalie, Jaxson Gosnell did not dwell too much on the goals because he thought his defense still backed him up during power plays. Gosnell had a total of 33 saves, while ASU’s goalie, Zach Hale, had 18 saves during the match.

“I think they were both kind of flukey,” Gosnell said. “There was a bad bounce on the second one. But I mean the penalty kill was good, we just had too many of them today. We have been struggling in the d-zone all season and they are starting to collect and get pucks out.”

Harrington agreed with Gosnell about improving their defense and wants to continue to work on it as they move forward.

“We made efforts to make our forecheck a lot better and our d-zone, and I think that showed this weekend,” Harrington said. “When it comes down to a tight game, we really know how to come together. I think if we just need to continue to do that, and work on our defense.”

The Ice Jacks’ next home game is on Oct. 18 at 9:15 p.m. against Long Beach State.