ASU women's hockey drops second game against Colorado

ASU lost to Colorado 5-3 on Saturday night in Tempe

The Colorado women’s hockey team has scored 20 goals in three games so far this season. While the goals might indicate that the team is blowing teams out, that was not exactly the case on Saturday night in Tempe. 

The University of Colorado defeated the ASU women’s hockey team 5-3 at Oceanside Arena late on Saturday night. The Buffaloes came into the game as the No. 11 team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and they picked up their third win in three nights on Saturday.

While Colorado might be one of the toughest teams in the league, they certainly did not have it easy against ASU. In the first period, ASU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on their home ice.

“We definitely could have done better, but the growth from last weekend to this weekend is huge,” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. “We are proud of them (ASU), but we still have a lot to work on.”

One of the most integral pieces to the ASU team on Saturday was sophomore goaltender Jordan Nash-Boulden. Midway through the third period, Colorado surpassed the 60 shot plateau, and Nash-Boulden made 59 saves on 64 shots to keep ASU within arms reach of Colorado.

“I was comfortable the majority of the time,” Nash-Boulden said. “I think the second period was kind of rough … I felt like I was in a rhythm, but not too much to where I was absolutely dead tired.”

Nash-Boulden made 110 saves on 119 Colorado shots overall. The sophomore puck stopper was vital to giving her team a chance to win against a fast Colorado team.

In the first period, ASU senior forwards Amber Galles and Dannika Borges both found the back of the net to put the Sun Devils up early. Borges had two out of the three goals for ASU, while Galles has now scored four goals in four games for the Sun Devils.

“Being open and being in front of the net definitely helps,” Borges said of her two goals. “When you have your players on your line that want to get it too, it helps so much. They are looking for that pass.”

Borges' second goal of the game came in the third period to make the score 4-3. 

However, at the end of the night, Colorado’s offensive zone possession and puck handling proved to be too much. In the second period, the Buffaloes stormed out of the intermission and put up four goals in the frame.

“They were very quick. They are one of the quickest teams in the league,” Ellis said. “To be able to stay with them is a huge test for us, and obviously we got things to work on in practice after this series.”

On Friday, it was junior forward Leah MacArthur who had a hat trick for the Buffs, but on Saturday night, forward Maura Keift decided to take over the goal-scoring responsibilities. Keift scored four out of Colorado’s five goals, and she was electric in the offensive zone.

Junior Mariah Dally picked up the other goal for the Buffs, and junior forward Kathleen Ash assisted on three of Keift’s four goals. Ash and Keift worked together in unison in the offensive end.

“Our team fought hard and we came back from losing 2-0 (in the first period),” Dally said. “We came out fighting in the second period … we just had to keep going hard and keep our shots going.”

The Buffaloes did just that as they continually bombarded Nash-Boulden with pucks throughout the game.

Despite the array of shots that Nash-Boulden was faced with, the Sun Devils ultimately showed a lot of grit against one of the top ACHA teams in the nation. ASU cut the Colorado lead to one in the third period, but the Buffaloes would ice the game away with a power play goal by Keift later in the third.

Above all, ASU managed to compete and grind with a quick and skilled Colorado team that is proven to be one of the best teams in the ACHA.

“This team has so much heart, and we have so much fight in us,” Nash-Boulden said. “We saw that at the end of last season too, but even with the new girls coming in, they all come in with that same drive and desire to go out there and win a game up until there is literally no more time left.”

Up next, ASU will get ready for another opponent from Colorado when the Colorado State Rams visit Oceanside Arena. Puck drop is set for Friday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 p.m.


Reach the reporter at atbell1@asu.edu or follow @AndrewBell7 on Twitter.

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