Lack of Offensive Opportunities Late for Lopes Results in 3-2 Loss Saturday
By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
Lesson for the road ahead; shots were taken, but not enough to come out with a win.
After trying to set the tone for the rest of the season with a thrilling overtime win Friday over Arizona State University, 3-2, the Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey team fell just short of repeating that excitement a day later with a 3-2 loss against ASU.
“I think we performed pretty well, but we can be in better shape,” Lopes Head Coach Natalie Rossi said. “We need more speed, and we need to take faster shots. We are doing all the right things, but finishing is where we are struggling. We realize that there is still a lot of work to do.”
GCU was looking to continue the momentum after Friday night’s win. With a loud atmosphere filling AZ Ice Arcadia Saturday, ASU scored first with a goal from forward Maya Elliott eight minutes into the opening period. GCU’s freshman defenseman Megan Brodfuehrer, who scored twice the night before (including the game-winner in overtime), returned to score the tying goal unassisted four minutes later. With nearly three minutes left in the first period, ASU’s defensemen Katelyn McGinley answered back with a heated shot making it a 2-1 game.
The Lopes quickly began to feel the pressure and picked up the pace in the second period. GCU broke through on another unassisted goal by sophomore defenseman Tuesday Chavez with 10 minutes remaining in the second. Six minutes later, the Sun Devils’ Danielle Dupont broke the 2-2 tie with an unassisted goal. GCU was unable to respond with another score the rest of the way in suffering their first loss of the season. GCU was outshot, 35-28, in the game.
“The fact that we are able to play four lines in a big game is pretty impressive,” said Rossi. “We have a solid team and we’re happy overall.”
GCU goaltender Haylee Gannaway stopped 32 of 35 Sun Devil shots.
“As long as we let her see the shots, she made the saves,” said Rossi. “Even ASU’s goal in the second period, Haylee made 3 saves before they scored. She stood on her head. She’s a solid goalie, and we’re very lucky to have her.”
Saturday’s game also brought attention to Katie’s Korner Domestic Violence campaign. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Saturday’s game was dedicated to the cause.
“Women’s hockey in Arizona is still growing, and seeing the crowd turn out is really cool to see-especially at the collegiate level,” said Brodfuehrer. “We’re putting GCU on the map as well as ASU with our games. It is a great experience to see everybody out there cheering both teams on.”
The Lopes will be on the road for the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League Showcase starting Thursday, October 18 at 10:00 am vs. University of Colorado. Their next home game is Sunday, November 4 at 10:30 am versus Colorado State University at AZ Ice Arcadia (38th Street & Thomas Road in Phoenix; building is behind the Sprint Store).