Lopes snap losing streak in 6-4 win
Photo Credits: Becca Lynne
By: Giovanni Hicks/ GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
Back on track.
After a tough loss to the University of Oregon Thursday, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey team finished out their three-game homestand with a split of their back-to-back matches against University of Utah at AZ Ice Arcadia. After a narrow 4-3 loss to the Utes Friday, the Lopes turned it around the next night and took home the 6-4 win, severing their six-game losing streak, and leaving the Lopes’ record at 5-10 heading to the Thanksgiving break.
“These games showed us that our game plan works if we commit to it consistently,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Danny Roy.
Friday: Utah 4, GCU 3
Friday’s game against Utah was a back-and-forth affair. After the Utes scored the first goal of the game just under seven minutes in, GCU’s Blake Billings tied it up at the end of the first period. Utah was able to collect another score 11 minutes into the second, but the Lopes rallied at the end of that period, scoring two quick goals in the 15th and 17th minutes to take a 3-2 lead. The Lopes’ defense tired late in the 3rd period, though, and the Utes capitalized to tie it with five minutes left in the regulation before winning it on McKay Pond’s second goal of the night with 93 seconds left.
Saturday: GCU 6, Utah 4
The offensive rhythm for the Lopes was more in tune in the second leg of the back-to-back. GCU’s Mason Kruse helped power the Lopes to a 3-1 first period lead, assisting on all three shots that found the net. The Lopes gave themselves some breathing room with goals from Nate Mohr and Jacob Cummings (his second of the night) in the first six minutes of the second period. The Utes closed to within two midway through the 3rd period before Kruse ended the suspense with his lone goal of the night with 9:28 left to ice the win.
“We didn’t change much of our game plan going for the second game,” said Roy. “We knew that if we kept our focus on sticking to the process, we would get the outcome that we were looking for.”
Next on the schedule, the Lopes will play back-to-back games against University of Nevada, Las Vegas on home ice at AZ Ice Arcadia on Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4 at 6:30 pm.
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