After ending the season-long unbeaten streak of Wisconsin-River Falls last week in the NCHA title game, the Bulldogs of Adrian College had designs on upsetting another long-unbeaten foe as they traveled to Ritter Arena in Rochester, N.Y to take on RIT in an NCAA Division III quarterfinal game.
The Tigers’ Katie Stack and Kourtney Kunichika would have none of it.
Stack scored a natural hat trick in the second period, Kunichka added a hat trick of her own that included the first and last goals of the game, and the Tigers roared to a 10-1 win over the Bulldogs in front of 1,011 fans at Ritter Arena in Rochester.
Kunichka, a freshman from Fullerton, California, handed out three assists in addition to her hat trick, and figured on four of the Tigers’ first five goals. The last of those was Stack’s power-play goal at 2:22 of the second period, which was followed in less than four minutes by her second goal at 5:57 and her third at 6:20, giving the hometown hero from nearby Batavia, N.Y., the RIT career record for goals. With 20 goals this season, Stack now has 81, breaking Alysia Park’s previous Tiger record of 79, set in 2005.
With the first NCAA win in program history in the books, the Tigers will now host the NCAA Divison III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship this weekend at Ritter Arena. The Tigers will face Middlebury at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal game, with Gustavus Adolphus and Norwich playing at 3:30 p.m.
Need to Know
• Wisconsin senior forward Meghan Duggan, Boston College senior forward Kelli Stack and Mercyhurst senior forward Meghan Agosta are the three finalists for the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which honors the top player in women’s college hockey. Agosta, the all-time NCAA leader in goals and points, finished her season with 38 goals and 48 assists in 86 games for the CHA champion Lakers, averaging a national-best 2.53 points per game. Duggan, meanwhile has 38 goals and 45 assists in 39 games for the Badgers, and recorded 57 of those 83 points during a 25-game point streak, the longest such streak in Badger history. Stack became the Eagles’ all-time leader in goals and points this season, and currently has 36 goals and 22 assists in 35 games this season. The award will be presented on Saturday, March 19 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, the morning after Stack’s Eagles and Duggan’s Badgers meet at Tullio Arena in the first of two semifinals at the Women’s Frozen Four.
• Gustavus Adolphus faces a tough test on Friday against Norwich in an NCAA Division III Semifinal game at Ritter Arena in Rochester, but the Golden Gusties got good practice on Friday when they beat Wisconsin-River Falls. After entering the game with just five points on the season, sophomore forward Jenna Christensen figured on all four Gustavus Adolphus goals (two goals and two assists), leading the MIAC Champions to a 4-1 win over the Falcons. Danielle Justice stopped 24 of the 25 shots she faced to earn her 18th win of the season, making the Golden Gusties the only road team to win in either the National Collegiate or the Division III tournament this weekend. The Falcons, meanwhile, who went unbeaten throughout the regular season, close the 2010-11 campaign on back-to-back losses, having fallen to Adrian in the NCHA title game.
• Her remarkable college hockey career may be at an end, but Mercyhurst senior Meghan Agosta went down shooting, scoring both of the Lakers’ goals in a 4-2 loss to Boston University. The Ruthven, Ontario native finishes her collegiate career with 157 goals and 146 assists in 134 career games, becoming the first player in NCAA history to top the 300-point mark.
• Middlebury senior goaltender Alexi Bloom recorded her 11th shutout of the season on Saturday, stopping all 20 shots she faced to outduel Manhattanville’s Emy Cote in a 1-0 Panthers victory. Bloom ranks second in Division III with a .950 save percentage, and third in goals-against average with a sparkling 1.02 average.
• After having a remarkable freshman season thrown off course by injury, Boston University’s Marie-Philip Poulin found her scoring touch at the right time. Playing just her second game since returning from an injury that kept her out for a month, Poulin scored her 23rd goal of the season – and her first since January 28 – to give the Terriers a 2-1 lead over Mercyhurst in the second period of their game at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday.
• Goals will be at a premium in the Division III Championship, as Norwich’s Cindy Fortin has the highest goals-against average of any starter in the tournament at a stingy 1.61. RIT’s Laura Chamberlain, Gustavus Adolphus’s Danielle Justice and Middlebury’s Alexi Bloom are the top three goalies in the nation in GAA with averages of 0.91, 1.00 and 1.02, respectively, backstopping the top three teams in the country in scoring defense.
• After not playing since December 4 due to injury, Cornell goaltender Amanda Mazzotta hasn’t taken long to regain her form. Mazzotta has stopped 34 of the last 35 shots she’s faced, backstopping the Big Red to back-to-back wins over Dartmouth at Lynah Rink in the 2011 ECAC Hockey Championship game and a quarterfinal game in the National Collegiate Women’s Hockey Championship. Heading into Friday’s semifinal at the Women’s Frozen Four against Boston University, Mazzotta leads the nation with a .949 save percentage and a 0.99 goals-against average.
• While all four teams at the 2011 Women’s Frozen Four know how to keep the puck out of the net – Cornell, Boston College, Wisconsin and Boston Unviersity rank first, third, fifth and sixth in the nation in scoring defense, respectively – you won’t have to look far to find offensive firepower at Tullio Arena this weekend. The Badgers lead the nation in scoring offense with 5.26 goals per game, while Cornell is third with 4.59 tallies per contest, and BU and BC rank sixth and 12th, respectively, with averages of 3.53 and 2.89 goals per game.