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GCU Women’s Ice Hockey Falls Short in Opening Weekend to ASU

October 15, 2021

Lopes work through first game jitters after long layoff  

By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff

601 days later, game day is back.

In poetic fashion, Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey took on Arizona State University Friday and Saturday night, the very same team the Lopes faced in their last game almost two years ago. While the Lopes dropped both games to ASU, the weekend allowed the squad to push through the long built-up nerves.

ASU 4, GCU 1

“They were nervous going into the game,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Natalie Rossi. “There was excitement to finally be playing, but you could see they were jittery.”

The nerves showed, and the Sun Devils secured a 3-0 lead by the end of the second period.

Lopes’ junior Emmie Wahlgren’s goal late in the third period ended ASU’s hopes for a shutout.

“We didn’t win our battles,” said Rossi. “We did not possess the puck as much as we normally do.”

ASU 5, GCU 3

“We discussed three main points of emphasis after Friday night’s game,” said Rossi. “The three points were puck possession, winning the battles, and pressuring the puck more. I definitely saw those improvements made on Saturday.”

The Lopes went up 2-0 in the second period with back-to-back goals from Lopes’ freshman Reese Gingrich and senior Megan Brodfuehrer.

“Saturday’s game started with us looking a lot more like our team,” said Rossi. “We battled hard, we did the right things, and we took advantage of opportunities.”

The momentum shifted, and ASU countered with two goals to close the second period.

Lopes’ sophomore Micah Summer scored to kick off period 3 and steal back a 3-2 lead. However, ASU’s offense found late success and scored three more goals in the final minutes to finish with a 5-3 victory.

Despite the tough loss, Brodfuehrer’s veteran perspective left her pleased with what is to come for the squad.

“This is just the beginning,” said Brodfuehrer. “With a great group of girls, and a full roster; we can’t wait to compete in our upcoming travel games as well as our home opener in November.”

Up next, the Lopes head to Boulder, Colorado for a two-game series against University of Colorado Oct. 29 at 5 pm and Oct. 30 at 11 am.

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