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Sun Devil hockey team's rally falls short in 1st-ever NCAA Tournament game

The Devils fought hard but came up short
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Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-30 23:13:37-04

For about 51 minutes, the Arizona State Sun Devils appeared they would go down easily in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game.

A goal by junior defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk woke the Devils up late, and ASU gave Quinnipiac all it could handle the rest of the way -- but the Devils' rally came up short, as they fell 2-1 in the first round of the 16-team NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Sun Devils were outshot badly through two-plus periods -- and ASU didn't even manage a shot on goal for a near-16-minute stretch in the second period as the Bobcats built a 2-0 advantage. But Pasichnuk scored ASU's first-ever NCAA Tournament goal with 8:18 left in the third period to cut Quinnipiac's lead in half.

Sophomore forward Johnny Walker, the NCAA's leading goal scorer, nearly tied the game moments later but had a shot rattle off the post. A 5-minute penalty to freshman defenseman Jarrod Gourley killed ASU's momentum late in the game.

In just their third full season at the NCAA level, the Devils advanced to the NCAA Tournament faster than any team in NCAA history.