Kasaboski collects 20 3rd-period saves in historic win
With heightened stakes and intensity, the Lopes came out on top.
With AZ Ice Arcadia packed to the brim with passionate Lopes’ fans, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey D1 team beat the University of Arizona, 6-4, in GCU’s 2021-22 home opener. It was the first win in a regular season home opener in the program’s history, as well as the first-ever American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 1 win against UofA for the Lopes. The victory comes after a rough stretch of road games last weekend where the Lopes went 0-3, losing once to Maryville University and then in back-to-back matches against Missouri State University.
“This was a great response from the team,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Danny Roy. “After the losses last weekend, we put our guys through a hard practice where they battled and encouraged each other. Their improvement showed in this game with a huge conference win against an in-state rival.”
The Lopes’ offense was on fire to start every period, opening the game with three goals in the first six minutes, and scoring the other three within the opening seven minutes of the 2nd and 3rd periods combined. In the third, the Lopes ran into some penalty trouble, collecting 7 penalties throughout the final period alone. Despite a shorthanded squad, goalkeeper Scott Kasaboski put on a show, amassing 20 of his 34 overall saves in the crucial 3rd period.
“This was an awesome bounceback game for Kasaboski,” said Roy. “Being a goalie when I played, I challenged our keepers to be better. Kasaboski stepped up to that challenge and made some incredible saves.”
“It was a great feeling getting this win,” said Kasaboski. “Everyone bought in and stayed committed to the game plan. I’m excited to ride this momentum into our next games.”
H3: GCU D2 team splits weekend
After winning 9-0 in their season opener against Northern Arizona University, the Lopes D2 team had two intense, close matches against Arizona State University, losing the first by a single goal in overtime before tying the second game 2-2. Most recently, the Lopes won 5-3 at home game against NAU before suffering a narrow 3-2 loss against Utah State University.
“The D2 team has been really impressive so far this season,” said Roy. “They’re playing with a lot of chemistry right now, and I think they have a real shot at making nationals this year.”
The D1 squad will play back-to-back home games on October 22 and 23 against the University of Colorado at AZ Ice Arcadia (38th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix). The D2 team will face off against Brigham Young University in back-to-back home games on October 29 and 30 at AZ Ice Arcadia.
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