If there was one thing Arizona knew it must have in its season finale Saturday night, it was a fast start.
The Icecats got it, scoring four goals in the first period. But maintaining their momentum proved to be an even tougher challenge. Arizona State tied the game with three goals in the second period and won 6-5 in overtime.
"We had such a great start and even before the second period everyone was saying, 'We still have 40 minutes left,' " senior Jordan Schupan said.
"We needed to continue taking the game to them, but we ended up sitting back. We had a couple of penalties and let them right back in it."
In his final game as an Icecat, Schupan tallied a pair of goals, including a game-tying score with 24 seconds remaining in regulation. Trailing 5-4, Arizona (14-15) pulled goaltender David Herman with just over a minute remaining, leading to a furious offensive scramble in ASU's zone.
A deflected shot by Geordy Weed ended up in front of Schupan, who found the Sun Devils net.
"When we scored that I definitely thought we were going to pull it out," Schupan said. "We've been in this situation so many times, and the last two years we haven't been finishing these games. But it really felt like things were going to click, and we were going to end the season on a high note."
At the very least, Arizona coach Leo Golembiewski thought that it would lead to a shootout and began thinking ahead.
"I was already looking past the (overtime)," he said. "I didn't think either team was going to make a catastrophic error."
The loss, and the way Arizona lost, was a small reflection of the team's play over the course of the season.
Saturday's loss was the third by one goal against ASU and fifth overall.
The Icecats had winning streaks of six and four games, but also lost five consecutive during a crucial stretch at the end of January.