(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)
The Arizona State women’s hockey team ended their weekend in Ohio on a positive note in Columbus after struggling in Oxford. The team traveled to Columbus to take on Ohio State for their final regular season game, which they won 4-2.
ASU looked like a new team compared to the previous two days. In Sunday’s game, the Sun Devils, ran the game with the amount of offense they played, taking 71 shots over the course of the afternoon.
This mark set a new program record for team shots in a game, shattering their previous number of 43, which they accomplished against Denver on Feb. 5, 2017.
Senior Amber Galles started the game off with a goal and concluded with one as well, recording three point in her team’s winning effort
Her first goal came at 6:02 of the first period. Galles skated around, alluding Buckeyes right and left. However, she sped behind the net, came in front of Ohio State goaltender Selena Hunter and took a backhanded shot that gave the Sun Devils an early lead..
Assisting her goal were Dannika Borges and Taylor England, two players whose time with program is coming to an end, along with Galles.
This goal, which was ASU’s second of the weekend, sent the ASU-heavy crowd into cheers, as many of the players parents traveled to Ohio to watch their daughters play.
“I think confidence, the girls went in in the other two games thinking we weren’t going to win and up to par with (Miami),” said Galles. “Today we knew we were good, so we came in kind of thinking we can win this we have a chance.”
ASU continued to generate offense, pressing the Buckeyes defensive parings in hopes of another goal.
Ohio State’s Courtney Trudeau was called for a tripping penalty and Sun Devils went on the power play, something that they had been unable to convert on in the previous two games.
Less than a minute in, Alyssa Ayers scored unassisted, making it the only power play goal of the weekend.
After the Buckeyes ended a penaltty kill in the second period, Nora Anderson skated off the bench, immediately grabbed the puck and fired off a goal past ASU’s Jordan-Nash Boulden.
Anderson was assisted by Trudeau and Brittany Brandon, cutting the Sun Devil lead to 2-1.
Catherine Jones thought otherwise about the score being cut in half. Roughly two minutes later, she scored on an assist from Amber Galles to extend the ASU lead tot 3-2.
Just seven seconds later, OSU’s Brandon recorded her second point in the game and scored a goal to turn around ASU’s brief momentum and shorten the Sun Devil lead 3-2.
The Buckeyes continued to gain energy as the clock ticked down, forcing ASU to be careful if they wanted to preserve the lead.
In the third period, ASU had several opportunities to extend the lead, but were unable to convert, despite taking 20 shots in the final frame.
“I think we had a little more rest today,” captain KC McGinley noted after the win. ” … which is important especially on an away trip to recharge as much as possible.”
McGinley seemed spry and eager to put one in the net all game long, however, none of her shots went in, despite two of them hitting the crossbar.
“She plays a solid stay at home role, but she can force it up,” said assistant coach Kaley Marino. “She can make plays and she feels that pressure when we are struggling offensively that she has to step it up and that’s all we can ask out of a player.”
Galles was finally able to send one of the team’s third period shots into the net, finishing the game with an empty net goal and only 3.9 seconds left.
“I think overall, they were just excited to play, and we were ready to get a win,” Marino said. “Sometimes that gets away from us and we get a little too happy, which is fine. We are having fun, it’s fun playing in fun game but I think overall they were able to dial back in when we realized we were a little closer than we should’ve been.”
The seniors and the rest of the team finished the regular season on a high note. The season isn’t over, however, as they now focus their attention on Fremont, Nebraska for the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League playoffs in two weeks.