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Wisconsin Athletics | March 2, 2014

Wisconsin advances to WCHA semifinals with 2-0 victory against Minnesota State-Mankato

MADISON, Wis. -- In second-ranked Wisconsin's fifth consecutive matchup against WCHA-rival Minnesota State-Mankato, junior Blayre Turnbull and sophomore Courtney Burke each lit the lamp to lift the Badgers to a 2-0 victory against the Mavericks on Sunday in the series conclusion of the WCHA first-round playoff series at LaBahn Arena.

After splitting the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday, the conference rivals played physical from the start. But in a game with only one penalty call and nine seconds of five-on-four hockey, the Badgers proved to be too much for the Mavericks and earned a spot in the WCHA Final Faceoff next weekend in Bemidji, Minn.

Six different players recorded points in the Badger win, as Turnbull scored her 17th goal of the season off assists by redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman and junior Katy Josephs, while Burke's fifth goal of the season was set-up by sophomore Rachel Jones and senior Natalie Berg.

Senior Alex Rigsby tallied her 99th career win, stopping all 21 of MSU's shots in her 30th career shutout to bring her season record to 16-5-2.

But Wisconsin couldn't be held scoreless for long, as Turnbull sent a wrister off the post and into the back of the net to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead 5:27 into the middle frame. Shots on goal in the second period were 17-5 in favor of UW.

Burke finished the offensive strike for the Cardinal and White, spinning and flicking a 25-foot shot past MSU goaltender Danielle Butters at the 8:59 mark of the final stanza to give UW the 2-0 lead.

No. 5 Harvard 4, Yale 0

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- After back-to-back taxing double-overtime games, and facing elimination from the ECAC tournament for the second night in a row, Harvard powered its way by Yale on Sunday 4-0 to advance to the conference semifinals.

The Crimson (23-5-4, 16-3-3 ECAC) earns the right to play Cornell in Cheel Arena on March 8 after blanking the Bulldogs (9-16-7, 6-9-7 ECAC) in the rivalry's rubber match of the best-of-three series. Earning the nod between the pipes for the second night in a row, freshman Brianna Laing turned aside all 30 shots she faced to produce her fourth shutout of the year. Offensively, Hillary Crowe found the back of the net twice against Yale, her sixth multi-goal game of the year.

Crowe was the first to light the lamp on Sunday, but had help from linemate Miye D'Oench in the process. After Crowe intercepted the puck in the defensive zone, she shorthanded it to D'Oench, who then flew up the ice right by Bulldog traffic. With anticipation and vision, D'Oench slowed and waited to find Crowe zipping through the slot, where she was able to one-time a shot right under Jamie Leonoff's pads for the game's first goal just 5:29 into the opening frame.

Not too long after, Gina McDonald and Sarah Edney teamed up for the Crimson's crucial second goal of the period. After flipping one on target, McDonald wrapped around Leonoff to follow the saved puck.  Marissa Gedman then found her in the corner, before McDonald tried to force a back-handed attempt toward Leonoff. But even though the Yale goalie stoned the initial shot, Edney positioned herself perfectly to bury the putback with ease to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead.

Just six minutes into the third, Crowe made good on her second goal of the game to give Harvard yet another boost toward victory. While on a power play, the Crimson continued to make the extra passes, trying to find the open skater, which ended up being Crowe in the circle. After firing one on target, Crowe gathered the rebound and put back her own shot just over Leonoff's blocker for the score.

Jessica Harvey then sealed the deal for Harvard with 1:45 left on the clock. After Elizabeth Parker scooped up a loose puck in the defensive zone after Yale optioned for the sixth attacker, she lofted it up to Harvey who was pacing along the boards. Harvey then streaked up through the neutral zone and flipped the puck toward the empty net to move the Crimson to its final 4-0 tally.

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