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ASU women's hockey losses to Midland, closes out season

No. 15 ASU lost 5-1 against Midland, eliminating the team from the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League playoffs.


ASU senior defenseman Dannika Borges (21) plays a puck behind the net during the first period of a game against Assiniboine Community College on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

The No. 15 ASU women’s hockey team closed the curtain on its 2017-18 season on Saturday afternoon with a 5-1 loss against No. 13 Midland in a win or go home game of the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League playoffs.

The Midland Warriors of Midland University put up a three-spot on the Sun Devils in the first period, and that would prove to be beneficial in a physical and chippy game.

“They (Midland) are a very aggressive team and for me, I had to focus on keeping my head in the game,” ASU senior forward Dannika Borges said. “It sucks that we aren’t going to move forward with our team this year, but it is what it is."

Coming into Saturday’s game, Midland junior defenseman Isabelle Uhl-Chmiel had 43 points to lead the Warriors in the stat column.

In the first period, the junior blue-liner continued with her rampant scoring touch as Uhl-Chmiel registered three points in Saturday’s game, and she kicked off the scoring for the Warriors.

Along with Uhl-Chmiel, Midland sophomore forward Tieryn Arens picked up the second goal of the game that was assisted by freshman forward Kenzie Bertolas.

Midland jumped out to a 4-0 lead after adding another goal in the second period, but the Sun Devils would respond with their lone goal later in the game when sophomore forward Megan Mroczek was able to jam home a loose puck at the side of the Midland net.

While the goal gave ASU some momentum, Midland ultimately came away with the win after adding one more tally in the third period.

Despite a season-ending loss on Saturday, the two games that the Sun Devils played this weekend could serve the team going into next year’s slate of games.

“Before (this season), it was we want to go to playoffs and being hopeful that we will make playoffs,” Mroczek said. “Now, it’s not hopeful anymore because we have done it and we know that it’s possible ... it’s just confidence.”

Throughout the entire season, ASU was plagued with a small roster, but next year the team will have the chance to prove what they can do with a full recruiting class and the ability to play a full four lines.

“I just think it’s our numbers,” ASU assistant coach Katie McGovern said. “We are short and we have 10-11 girls out there, and it shows, especially as the game goes on. I just think that if we had one more line ... it would be that much better.”

While the weekend’s losses closed the 2017-18 season for the Sun Devils, the feeling around the team was positive.

With such a small roster and a variety of injuries this season, the team still managed to earn its first national ranking in program history, and just being in the WWCHL playoffs was a sign of hope for what is to come in future years for the program.

“We got a lot of girls returning and the seniors (this year’s seniors) set the new foundation for us ... we will still be able to carry that out with the underclassmen that are heading in,” McGovern said. “We are headed in the right direction, it just says a lot about how hard we work and how hard the team works.”

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