The first game in the battle of the Sun Belt goes to Arizona State.
The Sun Devils defeated the Chargers 3-2 Friday at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Arizona.
UAH (1-6-0) continued to struggle offensively, particularly on the power play. The Chargers were 0-for-6, and have not scored in their last 20 power play opportunities.
Arizona State, in its third season as an NCAA Division I program, improved to 2-5-2.
As they have for all seven games so far this season, the Chargers allowed the first goal.
On a 4-on-3 power play, Jakob Stridsberg beat UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair on a one-timer from the right circle for a 1-0 Sun Devil lead at the 7:40 mark of the first period.
In the offensive zone, UAH had plenty of shot attempts in the first period, but only one — by Brennan Saulnier with 1:48 left — was on net. Eight of the Chargers’ chances went wide, and six were blocked by the Sun Devils.
The Chargers finally got to make ASU goaltender and Ottawa Senators prospect Joey Daccord work in the second period, putting 10 shots on him. But the one goal they scored was on a bad turnover.
Nick Gushue tried to pass the puck around the back boards, but Brennan Saulnier was there to intercept it behind the ASU net. Saulnier then wrapped it around past Daccord for a 1-1 game at the 1:45 mark of the second period.
Stridsberg put the Sun Devils back up 2-1 almost four minutes later, putting in a rebound for his second goal of the game.
UAH had three chances to tie it up on the power play, but it continued to struggle.
The Devils had a chance to extend their lead on a penalty shot after Cam Knight slashed Anthony Croston on a shorthanded breakaway with 10:50 left in the second. Sinclair was patient and made the save.
ASU did get its two-goal lead at 5:13 of the third, when captain Dylan Hollman beat Sinclair while falling in the slot.
UAH pulled within 3-2 with 1:18 to go with the extra attacker when Kurt Gosselin scored his second goal of the season, assisted by Hans Gorowsky.
Sinclair finished with 19 saves on 22 ASU shots on goal.
Also complicating matters was UAH’s faceoff situation. UAH only won 19 of 62 faceoffs.
UAH has now lost 13 straight games against non-conference opponents. The last chance to break the streak for this season is in the series finale, which is Saturday night at 9:05 p.m. Central Time.