ASU women's hockey is looking to bounce back

The Sun Devils are back in Tempe following their long road trip

Over the weekend, the ASU women’s hockey team went 0-4 in the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League (WWCHL) showcase tournament.

The tournament was ASU’s first road trip of the season, and the Sun Devils had to play three opponents ranked in the top 15 of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). 

ASU now has a week off to prepare before hosting the Midland University Warriors on Nov. 17-18.

“This week is going to be a lot more about skills,” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said of her team’s bye week. “There are some things we need to do in front of the net, and in our neutral zone.”

Despite the tough weekend on the road, ASU still remains just on the outside of the ACHA rankings, receiving votes to be in the top 15 earlier this week.

ASU fell to Midland in their third game of the WWCHL tournament 2-1, but they will now get a chance to face the Warriors on their home ice. Midland is currently the No. 9 team in the ACHA, and they are 6-0 on the road.

“Midland is a little bit different this year,” Ellis said earlier this season. “They are better than last year, so to be able to keep up with them speed wise, it’s going to be really important.”

Midland is coming off of a year in which they went 9-20. This season, the Warriors have flipped the script, and they have started their 2017-18 campaign with a 9-3 record.

“With all teams, we just need to keep skating, and we need to communicate more,” ASU senior forward Dannika Borges said. “If we get in front of the net, we are more likely to screen, and we are more likely to get those rebounds.”

ASU junior forward Taylor England echoed a similar sentiment.

“There was just no talking in the games (at the WWCHL tournament), and it is very important, especially when you are out of position … you want to communicate with other teammates and provide defense positioning and create better scoring opportunities,” England said. 

Despite the grueling slate of games over the weekend, England knows that it comes down to mental toughness over fatigue.

“I know that all of our bodies were pretty exhausted, but it comes down to heart when you come down to the last game, and it’s a game that matters,” England said. 

Although ASU went 0-4 on the road trip to Boulder, it was a weekend that brought the team closer together, and it will certainly look to pay dividends moving forward.

“I definitely think that road trips are a good team bonding experience,” England said. “It’s great to create chemistry off the ice because it relays onto the ice, especially with the new girls.”

Among one of those new players for the Sun Devils is sophomore forward Alyssa Ayers. In Saturday night’s contest against Midland, Ayers tallied her first collegiate goal on a play in front of the net to give ASU a 1-0 lead.

The puck will drop for game one against the Midland Warriors on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at or follow @AndrewBell7 on Twitter.

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