From GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
By Maria Adams
Kurtz shines in net for Lopes with 33 saves
Grand Canyon University Women’s Ice Hockey kicked off the new year with a 1-0 loss to University of Massachusetts-Amherst. While the month-long hiatus from game play showed in the Lopes’ offensive efforts, GCU’s sophomore goalie Elsa Kurtz put on a show for the home crowd at AZ Ice Arcadia Sunday with a whopping 33 saves.
“Elsa played incredible,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Natalie Rossi. “She was a strong constant that we really needed. She was cool, calm, and collected in the net, and it really allowed us to play the game that we did.”
Despite Kurtz’ many stops, UMass managed to sneak one by her midway through Period 1 for the first – and ultimately last – goal of the game.
“We rely on a really big team game,” said Rossi. “So, when we haven’t played together in a while, we are not able to connect on those passes, and we look a little rusty like we did.”
The Lopes managed to record only 19 shots on goal throughout the three periods. While that statistic is not where GCU would like it to be, it helped highlight the Lopes’ areas to work on moving forward.
“We are going to focus on puck possession, taking lanes, and puck protection,” said Rossi. “We have a lot of really strong skaters, but we are still learning how to apply these strong skating skills into our game in order to protect the puck.”
GCU will have a chance to display those skills in their Friday Jan. 21st game at AZ Ice Arcadia against University of Denver. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 pm.
(Originally published at https://clubsports.gcu.edu/gcu-womens-ice-hockey-opens-year-with-loss-to-umass/)