D2 and D3 teams win home openers
By: Giovanni Hicks/ Club Sports Writing Staff
Photo Credit: Becca Lynne
Back in action.
It’s been almost two years since the Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey team has played a regular season game in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. That stretch ended over the weekend as the Lopes’ D1 team kicked off their 2021-22 season with a series against Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. The Lopes won Friday night’s opener over the IceJacks, 6-1, before setting for a weekend split with a 6-5 overtime loss Saturday.
“Although we weren’t able to win all of our games, this was a successful opening weekend for the program overall,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Danny Roy.
Friday: GCU 6, NAU D2 1
In their season opener, GCU’s D1 team went out and showed that they mean business this year. The Lopes’ defense was outstanding, as goalkeeper Cameron McIntosh allowed only one NAU goal on 22 shot attempts for the entire game. GCU’s offensive scheme was also on point, scoring five of their six goals before the final period.
Saturday: NAU D2 6, GCU 5 (F/OT)
24 hours later, the Lopes were not as dominant early, allowing four NAU goals in the first two periods. Trailing, 4-2, the Lopes mounted a third-period comeback to tie the game up at 5-5, with forward Nate Mohr securing the game-tying score with only 10 seconds left to prompt overtime. With under a minute left in OT, Ice Jacks’ forward Ryan Treanor struck the back of the net, giving NAU the 6-5 victory.
“We were trying out some different lineups to see what we can work with before our upcoming conference game against Missouri State University (this Thursday),” said Roy.
Friday: GCU D2 9, NAU D3 2; Saturday: GCU D2 9, NAU D3 0
In an arena packed with Lopes’ fans both nights, the GCU D2 & D3 squads dismantled the Ice Jacks D3 team. The Lopes’ D3 team won, 9-2, in their Friday night opener, with the D2 team securing a 9-0 victory Saturday at AZ Ice Arcadia. The D2 team was in control for the entirety of the game, collecting 58 shots on goal to NAU’s 11.
“As expected, our D2 team was able to handle the NAU D3 squad.” said Roy. “Our next game against the Arizona State University D2 team will be a tough and competitive battle for us.”
The D1 team will travel to St. Louis, Missouri to face off against Maryville University on Thursday, October 7, then against Missouri State University on October 8 and 9. The D2 team will play ASU D2 in back-to-back games at AZ Ice Arcadia (38th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix) on October 8 and 9 at 6:30 pm both nights.
Looking for more on the Men’s Ice Hockey team? Check out their linktree here to stay connected!