ASU women's hockey upends GCU 3-0 in historic night

The women's hockey team earned its first shutout in program history

The ASU women’s hockey team defeated Grand Canyon University 3-0 in a historic night at AZ Ice Peoria on Friday.

ASU scored a goal in each period, and the game was the first road victory and the first shutout in program history.

“A lot of firsts tonight,” ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. “Exciting game obviously, but the weekend isn’t over. We still have 60 minutes to play tomorrow.”

While ASU has had large contributions from their senior leaders this season, it was the freshmen who had big games on Friday night.

In the first period, freshman forward Catherine Jones connected with junior forward Taylor England on a play in front of the net, and ASU took a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the opening frame.

Jones later tallied the third goal of the game for the Sun Devils when she buried a wrist shot from the high slot that sailed past the blocker of the goaltender, and into the back of the net. With the two-point game on Friday, Jones now has seven points on the season.

However, Jones wasn’t the only young player who found herself on the stat sheet.

In the second period, freshman forward Aubrey Beskid corralled a puck during a scramble in front of the GCU net, and the freshman did not miss her opportunity. 

Beskid went straight to the front of the net off of a drive from senior defenseman KC McGinley, and proceeded to bury the first goal of her collegiate career and give ASU a 2-0 lead.

“I just stood in front of the net like you are supposed to,” Beskid said. “I just got my stick in there, and I saw the loose puck, and I pushed it in.”

McGinley assisted on Beskid’s goal to give the senior captain 13 points on the season. With the assist, McGinley is now in sole possession of the team lead in points.

This season, the two freshmen on the ASU roster have added 10 points in 13 games played. With the points from Beskid and Jones on Friday, the future appears to be very bright in Tempe.

“It’s so exciting," Ellis said. "For them to be able to grow into big roles as freshmen players, that just says so much more about what they will be as a senior. We just have to get better every game, and the way we are going right now, we should be pretty great by the time they are seniors.”

ASU continues to cross off boxes as a second-year program this season, and sophomore goaltender Jordan Nash-Boulden checked off one more on Friday night.

GCU outshot ASU 35-25, but Nash-Boulden would prove to be the difference in the shutout victory, making timely saves en route to securing the first shutout in program history.

“I think we played great team defense today. We were eliminating grade-A scoring chances,” Nash-Boulden said. “ … I think I owe a lot of that to my defense. It definitely wasn’t a stand alone effort.”

With the victory on Friday night, ASU is now 2-1-1 in the season series with the Lopes, as they will look for their second series sweep of the year on Saturday night.

“I think it’s just the rivalry,” Beskid said. “We just push through everything, and we try our hardest no matter what.”

The final matchup of the season between ASU and GCU is set for tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at AZ Ice Peoria as the Sun Devils look to take the season series.

“When they (ASU) play against GCU, it’s a whole different energy that they bring just because it is that in-state rivalry,” Ellis said. “...You are playing for ASU. You are playing to win the state title pretty much. I know there is no title for this, but it’s just a different energy and we want to win that.”

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