(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)
This weekend, the Arizona State women’s hockey team did not get the results they hoped to get, but learned along the way. The Sun Devils lost both of their games against the Midland Warriors, falling 5-1 in the first game.
However, the score did not reflect what actually happened in the game. The final goal was an empty net goal from Midland during an attempt by ASU to try to shrink the deficit.
The score overlooks the first period that the Devils put together, as the team held Midland to a 0-0 tie and ASU held high pressure in the zone on the Warriors.
ASU was hurt most in the Friday night game on poor timing when completing line changes. The team was caught multiple times switching lines and giving Midland an odd man rush. The mistakes piled together, giving the Warriors more chances to score.
The second game of the series, however, was a much better performance by the team as a whole.
After scoring ASU’s lone goal of Friday night’s game, Amber Galles came back out early on Saturday night, scoring the game’s first goal. Less than two minutes into the game, Galles pushed one past Midland goalie Miranda Bestul to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.
The tides appeared to have turned in the Saturday game, as ASU was catching Midland off guard and the Warriors executed poor line changes.
The Sun Devil lead did not last long and the tides turned back, as Midland took the lead in the second period, scoring two goals less than a minute apart from each other. Alyssa Ayers helped the Sun Devils finish the second period strong though by scoring a goal to tie the game.
Midland went on to win the second game 4-2, making it apparent that there was something different with the Devils in Saturday’s game.
“We didn’t seem as ready to play yesterday, today we were all riled up and we were having fun before and the intermissions as well,” said Ayers after Saturday’s game. “So, I think the energy is what brought it all together today.”
On Saturday, the energy was present throughout the game for the Sun Devils. The team continued to hold their head high even after Midland tied the game.
“Everything all around, every single aspect of our game was 100 times better than last night,” said head coach Lindsey Ellis.
Ayers also noted that communication stepped up on Saturday, which was noticeable from the movement and cohesion from the team in the second contest.
“It was very important, we were able to talk to each other, let each other know where everybody is to get those passes, shots on net,” Galles said.
The women now move forward to their last series of 2017, where they take on Grand Canyon University December 8 and 9.
Using the communication from the Midland series and keeping the energy up from their games against the Warriors will be crucial to continue into the GCU series. Those two things alone could help ASU win one or both of their games to finish off the 2017 calendar year.