No. 18 Irish get too much of Kopperud and Walker in 5-3 loss to Sun Devils

John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — If the No. 18 Notre Dame hockey team doesn’t see Arizona State freshman left wing Matthew Kopperud again this season, they might not want to celebrate with Johnny Walker. They saw enough of Walker, too.

For the second straight night and for the fourth time this season against Notre Dame, Kopperud scored a pair of goals, and this time the Sun Devils got one goal and three assists from the recently returned and prolific-scoring senior Walker. Their scoring helped Arizona State skate to a 5-3 victory to earn a split of the teams’ weekend series and the four games they were scheduled to play this COVID-19 season. Notre Dame won Saturday night 5-4.

Kopperud’s two goals Sunday came at 12:38 and 14:36 of the third period while the Greg Powers’ Sun Devils (5-9-2), who broke a three-game losing streak, had a five-minute power play. It resulted after Notre Dame’s Colin Theisen drew a major and game misconduct for making contact with the head of defenseman Jacob Wilson behind the Arizona State goal just 11 seconds following the first of two goals by Irish sophomore Max Ellis had pulled Notre Dame to within a goal of the lead, 3-2.

The setback dropped Jeff Jackson’s Irish to 5-6-1 heading into next weekend’s Big Ten Conference series at No. 1 Minnesota Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. The Golden Gophers (11-1 overall, 9-1 Big Ten) rebounded from a 3-1 road loss Saturday to beat Wisconsin 5-3 Sunday afternoon. The Sun Devils visit Wisconsin next Friday and Saturday in a non-conference series.

Spencer Stastney had Notre Dame’s other goal while James Sanchez and Jarrod Gourley also scored for Arizona State. The victory in net went to sophomore Justin Robbins, who finished with 26 saves, three more than Notre Dame’s Ryan Bischel.

The Irish were outshot in the first period for the second straight night, this time by a 12-7 margin in large part because of three power-play opportunities by the Sun Devils. Bischel made seven stops and the pipe made another on those trio of man-advantages by Arizona State.

The Irish killed off all three attempts but actually surrendered a goal just four seconds after the second kill when Walker made a cross-ice feed to an unguarded Sanchez, who put the puck over Bischel at 11:43.

Notre Dame dominated the first three-quarters of the second period, at one point holding a 10-1 advantage in shots, and tied the game when Stastney’s shot from the point, off feeds from Grant Silianoff and Michael Graham, was deflected off an Arizona State player past Robbins at 6:35.

The Sun Devils then took a 2-1 lead at 15:27 when Gourley banged home a rebound after Bischel made a save on Ryan O’Reilly’s shot, and the lead held up after two periods. O’Reilly finished the night with three assists.

Saturday

• Notre Dame 5, Arizona State 4: South Bend’s Landon Slaggert returned from winning gold at the World Juniors Championship for Team USA and scored two goals along with fellow freshman left wing Grant Silianoff and sophomore Jesse Lansdell scored what proved to be the game-winning early in the third period. Senior goalie Dylan St. Cyr made 25 saves.

Sunday

Arizona State 1 1 3—5

Notre Dame 0 1 1—3

First Period—Scoring: 1. Arizona State, James Sanchez 3 (Johnny Walker, Ryan O’Reilly) EV 11:43. Penalties: Arizona State 0-0, Notre Dame 3-6.

Second Period—Scoring: 2. Notre Dame, Spencer Stastney 2 (Grant Silianoff, Michael Graham) EV 6:35. 3. Arizona State, Jarrod Gourley 2 (Ryan O’Reilly, Michael Mancinelli) EV 15:27. Penalties (total): Arizona State 1-2 (1-2), Notre Dame 0-0 (3-6).

Third Period—Scoring: 4. Arizona State, Johnny Walker 3 (Chris Grando) EV 8:19. 5. Notre Dame, Max Ellis 1 (Jake Pivonka, Nick Leivermann) EV 10:51. 6. Arizona State, Matthew Kopperud 11 (Johnny Walker) PPG 12:39. 7. Arizona State, Matthew Kopperud 12 (Johnny Walker, Ryan O’Reilly) PPG 14:36; 8. Notre Dame, Max Ellis 2 (Solag Bakich) SH 14:42. Penalties (total): Arizona State 0-0 (1-2), Notre Dame 2-15 (5-21).

Power-play opportunities: Arizona State 2 of 6, Notre Dame 0 of 1.

Faceoffs won: Arizona State 28 (10-7-11), Notre Dame 32 (7-10-15).

Blocked shots: Arizona State 13 (3-10-0), Notre Dame 6 (3-3-0).

Shots on goal: Arizona State 28 (12-9-7), Notre Dame 29 (7-13-9).

Goalie saves: Arizona State, Justin Robbins 26 (7-12-7), Notre Dame, Ryan Bischel 23 (11-8-4).

Records: Arizona State 5-9-2, Notre Dame 5-6-1.

Officials: Referees, Sean Fernandez and Brett Sheva. Linesmen, Riley Bowles and Bill Hancock.

Saturday

Arizona State 2 1 1—4

Notre Dame 2 1 2—5

First Period—Scoring: 1. Arizona State, Matthew Kopperud 9 (Jacob Semik, James Sanchez) PPG 2:32. 2. Notre Dame, Landon Slaggert 2 (unassisted) EV 4:15. 3. Notre Dame, Grant Silianoff 3 (Max Ellis, Michael Graham) EV 12:20. 4. Arizona State, Matthew Kopperud 10 (Johnny Walker, James Sanchez) PPG 14:09. Penalties: Arizona State 1-2, Notre Dame 2-4.

Second Period—Scoring: 5. Notre Dame, Landon Slaggert 3 (Alex Steeves) EV 3:51. 6. Michael Mancinelli 3 (Jacob Wilson, Johnny Walker) EV 6:52. Penalties (total): Arizona State 3-6 (4-8), Notre Dame 1-2 (3-6).

Third Period—Scoring: 7. Notre Dame, Grant Silianoff 4 (Max Ellis) EV 2:02. 8. Notre Dame, Jesse Lansdell 1 (Ryder Rolston, Solag Bakich) EV 3:04. 9. Arizona State, Johnny Walker 2 (James Sanchez) EV 6:08. Penalties (total): Arizona State 1-2 (5-10), Notre Dame 0-0 (3-6).

Power-play opportunities—Arizona State 2 of 2, Notre Dame 0 of 4. Faceoffs won—Arizona State 23 (6-8-9), Notre Dame 34 (12-11-11). Blocked shots—Arizona State 20, Notre Dame 7. Shots on goal—Arizona State 29 (13-7-9), Notre Dame 41 (11-13-17). Goalie saves—Arizona State, Evan Debrouwer 36 (9-12-15), Notre Dame, Dylan St. Cyr 25 (11-6-8). Records—Arizona State 4-9-2, Notre Dame 5-5-1. Referees—Sean Fernandez and Brett Sheva. Linesmen—Riley Bowles and Bill Hancock.

Notre Dame’s Jake Pivonka (20) drives down the ice in front of Arizona State’s PJ Marrocco (25) Saturday in South Bend. The Irish won, 5-4.
Notre Dame’s Spencer Stastney (24) and Arizona State’s PJ Marrocco (25) competes for control of the puck during Saturday in South Bend.