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ASU women's hockey falls 4-1 against Colorado State

The Sun Devils lost in their first home game of the season

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ASU junior defender Alisa Manny (2) chases after a lose puck in a game against Grand Canyon University at AZ Ice Arcadia in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.

For the first time this season, ASU women's hockey took the ice on their home rink Friday night. 

The Sun Devils fell 4-1 against Colorado State in front of their hometown crowd.

"We came out slow in the first period," ASU head coach Lindsey Ellis said. "We just have to come back stronger tomorrow."

As Ellis noted, the first period was troublesome for ASU. Colorado State scored two goals in the opening frame and led 2-0 going into the first intermission.

The Rams' first goal of the game came from defenseman Emily Kruger. Kruger jammed home a rebound off of an odd-man rush, and CSU got off to an ideal start. 

The Rams were able to get the job done with their defensive core at the forefront of their offensive attack as Kruger and her defensive counterpart Kristen Perry tallied all four of CSU's goals.

CSU went up 3-0 after a long shift from ASU where they weren't able to get the puck out of their zone. Perry ended up being the beneficiary of the extra time on the ice, as she deflected a shot from the slot that redirected into the net to give the Rams three straight unanswered goals.

"With long shifts, we got to chip it out. There were a lot of passes right to our slot that were absolutely uncalled for," Ellis said. "We just need to tidy things up and be able to play our game."

After falling down 3-0, the Sun Devils responded with their lone goal of the game with just under five minutes left in the second period. Receiving a puck near the blue line, ASU junior defenseman Alisa Manny was able to slide a shot through the five hole of the goaltender to cut the CSU lead down to two.

However, the Rams closed things out in the third period with Kruger's second goal of the night and were able to spoil ASU's home opener. 

Despite the loss, ASU wasn't completely out played. In the second and third period, the team was able to generate a variety of grade-A scoring chances down near the goal line. 

While there were various opportunities, but the Sun Devils just weren't able to break through the flood gates against CSU goaltender Mackenzie Roberts — a feeling the team has been left with a few other times this season.

"This seems to happen to us a lot this year, we just have to figure out a way to get the puck in the net," Ellis said. "...That comes down to positioning when that rebound is there (in front of the net). A lot of times we weren't in position to get rebounds."

Following the loss, ASU will get right back to action as they look to avoid a sweep on its home ice. The Sun Devils will play in their annual Breast Cancer Awareness game tonight, and they will pink the rink by wearing pink sweaters in their second game against CSU. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. MST.

"I think we started off slow, which has been a bit of a problem for us," freshman forward Ashlyn Sunderman said. "I think tomorrow, we are really going to bring it. We had a bit of a talk in the dressing room (after the game), so I think we are going to come out a lot harder."

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