TEMPE – The magic in Mullett Arena continues as the No. 16/17 Arizona State Sun Devils (7-1-1) won in an overtime thriller against the No. 2 Denver Pioneers (6-2-1) on Friday night to open the series and protect its undefeated record in the desert. In a back and forth battle, ASU came out on top with graduate captain Tyler Gratton’s game-winning goal three minutes into overtime.
“They saved it for when we needed it the most and they were the best line tonight on the ice. It wasn’t even close,” said head coach Greg Powers on the first line’s Friday night performance. “They were, I mean, that team is loaded with incredible talent and they were incredible. They just tilted the ice, they were just playing the right way and managing pucks and getting pucks in behind them when they had to and for checking really, really well and reloading above pucks that just played the right way and when they play the right way, they’re incredibly dangerous.”
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) November 11, 2023
Dylan Jackson completed his second NCAA career hat trick – his third goal was game-tying and sent the Sun Devils into extra time. Lukas Sillinger also collected three points with one goal and two assists to make it his fifth three point game of the year. Ty Jackson tallied two points, including the game-opening goal.
DYLAN WITH THE HATTY ??
ASU 5 | 5 DU pic.twitter.com/lWwdRIOpFw
— Sun Devil Hockey (@SunDevilHockey) November 11, 2023
Tonight’s win against No. 2/2 Denver ties the program record for the highest ranked win. The last time the Sun Devils faced a No. 2 opponent was when the Minnesota Golden Gophers visited Mullett Arena last season when ASU came out victorious in a 6-5 OT win. In that game, senior Robert Mastriosimone netted the overtime goal.
Up next: ASU and DU complete the two-game series on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. The top-20 tilt is streamed on ASU’s free Pac-12 Live Stream or available on the Sun Devil Hockey Radio Network, Fox Sports 910.
- Lukas Sillinger now leads the ASU team in point scoring with 10 points (4G, 6A) through nine games. He netted one goal and two assists in Friday night’s takedown of No. 2 Denver. He now leads power play point scoring for the Sun Devils with one goal and five assists.
- With an assist tonight, Brandon Tabakin increased his team lead of plus/minus to +7. Brian Chambers has the team’s next best with +4.
- Freshman defenseman Anthony Dowd is on a three-game point scoring streak (1G, 4A).
- Graduate captain Tyler Gratton is on a three-game point scoring streak.
- This is the second time in program history that a Sun Devil skater has tallied a hat trick against the Pioneers. The first was Johnny Walker in 2019.
- ASU allowed 40 shots on net, the most so far this season.
- Semptimphelter’s 35 saves through 63 minutes of play is the most saves by an ASU netminder in a single game this season.
- ASU’s overtime record moves to 3-1-1.
- Junior goaltender TJ Semptimphelter made his sixth start on Friday night and made 35 saves.
The Sun Devils stole the advantage on their first power play of the night with Ty Jackson’s goal midway through the period, assisted by Lukas Sillinger and Charlie Schoen. Shortly after, ASU went on the defense to successfully kill two penalties in a row. DU was able to respond with just under two minutes of play remaining with a short-handed breakaway goal to tie the game.
After DU took the lead six minutes into the period, ASU returned the favor with a quick goal from Dylan Jackson to make it 2-2. The Pioneers converted on another short-handed opportunity to regain the lead. Twenty seconds later, Dylan Jackson retaliated once again, tying the game at 3-3 with the help of Lukas Sillinger and Tim Lovell.
DU opened the period by converting on the power play to take the lead again, 4-3. Twenty-six seconds later, Sillinger shot one past the Pioneer goaltender to make it even at 4-4 with an assist from Ty Jackso and Anthony Dowd. Midway through the frame, DU made it 5-4 with a quick shot. Right on time, Dylan Jackson earned his second career hat trick to make it 5-5 with the help of his brother Ty Jackson.
Sun Devil Head Coach Greg Powers
On the overtime goal and attitude going into tomorrow:
“Just a great play by Tabby (Brandon Tabakin), just a really heady play and as soon as Tyler Gratton got on his tape, we all felt like he was gonna find a way to put it in and he did. So it’s a great moment for those two – huge wins for the program. We’re gonna enjoy it tonight. We know how good they’re gonna be tomorrow. They’re gonna come out really hard and, and probably a little pissed off and we got to match that and, and if I know anything about our group so far, we will.”
On playing a future conference opponent:
“Well, again, you know, everyone wants to try to create this rivalry between us and Denver and we have not earned that. We haven’t earned the right to call that program a rival. Our goal is to make them a rival, you know, and with the geographic location and the pod system and playing them four times a year, moving forward, our goal is to make them a rival. But, they have eight banners hanging. We don’t have any, you know, and they’ve beaten us quite a bit. So tonight was a good step in that direction, but that’s all it was, it was a step in that direction.”
Senior Forward Dylan Jackson and Graduate Forward Tyler Gratton
On the game winning goal (Tyler Gratton):
“Yeah, I mean, Chambo (Brian Chambers) had an awesome back check back to lead to the turnover. Tabby (Brandon Tabakin) worked his butt off to get the puck up the ice, made an unbelievable pass. I was in the right spot at the right time. I was able to finish it.”
On beating the number two team (Tyler Gratton):
“I think our team is playing really well. I think the performance that we put on tonight was really good. It’s a stepping stone of the season, but there’s still a lot of un-accomplished stuff that we need to take care of moving forward here. I mean, Jackson’s line was unbelievable tonight and really helped us out.”
On the hat trick with an assist by his brother (Dylan Jackson):
“It feels good, obviously. It’s nice when our lines’ clicking and we’re playing well and we’re helping the team win. So, yeah, obviously it feels good.”
On staying level headed with the physical aspect in period three (Dylan Jackson):
“Just try to not focus on it and play through it. Obviously, when you’re in a close game like that, you don’t want to take a penalty at that time of the game for something like that. So just stay level headed and keep working.”