By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
Not your typical GCU Ice Hockey game, but certainly a memorable one.
GCU Men’s Ice Hockey was back in action this past weekend, not for ACHA play, but for an exhibition with stars of NHL past. The Lopes battled the Arizona Coyotes’ Alumni in impressive fashion, finding themselves with a tie at the half before falling by a final score of 12-7 Saturday night at AZ Ice Arcadia in Phoenix.
The game was less about the scoreboard and more about the experience for the Lopes, since there are few opportunities where these players will get the chance to lineup across from Olympians and Stanley Cup Champions.
“It was a fun night,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Daniel Roy. “It was a good chance to get to play against some of those guys, and our guys really enjoyed it.”
Though some of the former Coyotes haven’t played in years, they proved why they competed in hockey’s top league, pouring in 12 goals on the night.
“Some of our top guys expected this to be an easier skate,” said Roy. “They quickly realized that those guys can turn it on at any time and beat you in so many ways. It was impressive.”
Not only did the players get to share the ice with former pros, but Roy himself, a former Arizona State University goalie, got involved in the action, donning his old pads and protecting the net.
“I’ve skated with them before, so I knew what to expect,” said Roy. “But my hand-eye coordination has definitely lost a step or two since then.”
Saturday was a night full of exciting hockey on the ice, but more importantly, it solidified the relationship GCU Ice Hockey has built with the Coyotes over the past year.
“This is a fun charity opportunity we hope to continue with the Coyotes,” said Roy. “We had solid numbers, and raised a couple thousand dollars for our program.”
H2: DII Lopes drop a pair to ASU
On the Division II side, the Lopes drove across town to Tempe to battle Arizona State University Thursday and Friday, but saw the Sun Devils continue their dominance over the Lopes this season with a pair of shutouts. ASU scored four first-period goals Thursday and made them stand up in a 4-0 win before scoring 10 goals on Friday to coast to a 10-0 victory.
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