Assiniboine takes game two from ASU women's hockey

The ASU women's hockey team dropped the second game of its three-game series with Assiniboine Community College

Less than 15 hours after playing on Friday, ASU women’s hockey was right back in action on Saturday afternoon for a matinee game with the Assiniboine Cougars.

ASU fell to Assiniboine 4-2 in a game where the Cougars were able to take advantage of the Sun Devils in the first period, scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes of action.

“We lost the first period. Without the first period, it would be 2-2 so we have to play a full 60 minutes of hockey, plain and simple.” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. “We can’t just play 40 minutes and be okay with that.”

In Friday night’s game, Assiniboine forward Rachel Charles picked up a hat trick en route to a 4-1 victory. 

Less than five minutes into the first period on Saturday, Charles picked up right where she left off, burying a goal off of an assist from fellow defenseman Blair Bodie. 

Charles finished the game with two of the Cougars’ four goals, giving her five goals over the course of two games at Oceanside Arena.

“Rachel is on a roll here right now,” Assiniboine head coach Terry Arksey said. “We knew she had it in her. She hasn’t scored a lot for us this year, but she’s found her touch this weekend and hopefully she continues to keep it going for a little bit longer.”

After Assiniboine took a 2-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes, the Sun Devils responded in the second period.

ASU senior forward and captain KC McGinley fired a wrist shot from the slot that pinballed off of an Assiniboine stick, off of the goaltender, and onto the goal line. ASU junior forward Taylor England proceeded to park herself at the side of the net, in perfect position to tap in the ricocheted shot.

Although the goal was originally given to ASU senior forward Amber Galles, England ultimately got credit for the goal that cut the Cougar lead to one. Credit for the assist was given to McGinley.

“KC had the shot. It bounced off of the goalie. It kind of went off of her pad, and it had crossed the goal line, but the ref didn’t blow the whistle so I made sure that it went in and crossed the goal line,” England said.

Regardless of the scramble and who touched the puck last, the Sun Devils were able to come up with a big goal to trim the Assiniboine lead.

However, Assiniboine responded quickly, as it has done all weekend. Shortly after ASU’s goal, the Cougars connected on a shot off of the stick from forward Karli Frederick in the low slot.

The goal was the third time over the course of two games that Assiniboine has struck back quickly following an ASU goal.

“We have done some good things in the offensive zone,” Arksey said. “That’s our goal. We want to score four goals a game, and if we can score four goals a game, we have a very good chance of winning a lot of hockey games because defensively, we are pretty solid in our own end.”

To start the third period, ASU once again cut into the Assiniboine lead when Galles netted a puck to make the Cougar lead 3-2. However, 21 seconds later, Charles was able to score, which ensured a 4-2 lead and a second consecutive victory for the Cougars.

Over the two games played, it has seemed like every time ASU has been able to seize momentum, Assiniboine has captured it right back.

“We have the skill set, I think it’s just the mentality. We haven’t played in over a month, so I think that we just need to dig down deep and get back to work,” England said. “I think we can get there.”

Although the opening period got off to a slow start for ASU, the Sun Devils were able to generate scoring chances through the play of England and Galles. The two forwards were paired along with ASU senior forward Dannika Borges, and the trio seemed to be in unison for much of the game.

“We haven’t played together since last season so it was like we picked up where we left off,” England said of her linemates. 

Nevertheless, ASU will look to respond as they hope to salvage the final game of the three-game set with Assiniboine.

Puck drop for game three between ASU and Assiniboine is set for 9 a.m. MST on Sunday morning.

“From the moment that we walk in the rink tomorrow, I think that we need to stay focused,” England said. “We have our own personal goals and we have team goals and we strive for those goals each period.”

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