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ASU women's hockey upends Denver 5-2 in complete team effort

Six different players recorded points as ASU took down Denver on Friday night at Oceanside Ice Arena


ASU senior forward Dannika Borges (21) lunges for the puck during the first period of the Sun Devils' 5-2 win over Denver on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Arizona.

In the midst of a push toward the Western Women’s Collegiate Hockey League (WWCHL) playoffs, the ASU women’s hockey team came up with a 5-2 victory on Friday night at Oceanside Ice Arena.

ASU senior forward Dannika Borges recorded two goals and an assist for the Sun Devils, and senior defenseman and captain KC McGinley tallied two points in the win.

Together, the seniors and the entire team put forth a complete effort, and six different players recorded points in the game.

“I’m so happy because as a team we made those opportunities happen,” Borges said. “As much as I like to score and be selfish ... I like having more assists than goals.”

ASU scored two goals in the first two periods of play, but the final 20 minutes of action was when the Sun Devils opened the floodgates. 

Midway through the third period, ASU senior forward and captain Amber Galles drove to the net and scored. Then, with just over five minutes to play, ASU added insurance in a timely fashion. The Sun Devils recorded two goals in less than 30 seconds with the first strike coming off of the stick of freshman forward Catherine Jones. 

Jones crashed the Denver net, drew a penalty, and then managed to push the puck past the goal line to give ASU a 4-2 lead.

Following the goal, ASU went back to work on the power play where the Sun Devils did not waste any time, as a McGinley wrist shot gave ASU a three goal cushion. 

McGinley’s tally was one of two power play goals for the Sun Devils on a productive night for special teams. 

“Our power play is usually pretty good in practice,” McGinley said. “It was nice to finally transition into the game, and we are super confident on it. It’s good when we are putting pressure on.”

Amidst all of the scoring, ASU was also happy to have one key player back on the ice.

On Friday night ASU sophomore forward Erin Rawls made her triumphant return after being out of the lineup since September with an ankle injury.

Along with generating a variety of scoring chances, Rawls picked up her first point of the season on ASU’s second goal of the game.

“We talked about things (in practice) to look for and if I could take contact and if I had the ability to really be safe and play (on the ice),” said Rawls of her return from injury. “On Thursday, we came together and decided that I could do it.”

With her name now in the stat column, Rawls will look to close out the season on a high note as her team looks to make a push toward the WWCHL playoffs.

Not only was Friday night’s win a complete team effort by ASU, but it was a much-needed victory in regards to the team’s playoff picture. Right now, ASU has six wins in league play and are looking to stamp their ticket to the conference tournament.

ASU has both Colorado State and Denver on its tail in the WWCHL rankings and Friday night’s win served in creating a cushion.

The Sun Devils will be right back to action Saturday in an emotional night as the program hosts its first-ever senior night.

Borges, Galles, McGinley, and Taylor England will all be honored prior to Saturday night’s game.

With senior night and a chance to gain valuable wins in conference play, ASU will look for the home sweep against Denver. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. MST from Oceanside Ice Arena.

“It’s important to get to the playoffs, but with senior night, we love those four girls,” Rawls said. “They are the core of our team ... it’s really important to give them a win on their day to show our love for them.”

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