LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Lake Forest edged out visiting Adrian 2-1 on Friday in the semifinals of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Slaats Cup playoffs. Senior goaltender Stacey Dierking made 27 saves to help the Foresters reach the NCHA tourney final for the first time in team history.
The home team netted a goal in each of the game's first two periods, beginning with sophomore defenseman Alex Stensland's second score of the season 16:31 into the contest. She was assisted by junior defenseman Erin Shamley and sophomore forward Melissa Paluch.
Lake Forest doubled its lead at the 2:43 mark of the second period on the 17th goal of the year by junior forward Morgan Pope. She was assisted by junior defenseman Laura Reckdenwald and sophomore forward Holly Lesperance. Pope's goal total for the season ranks fourth in program history.
The Foresters outshot the Bulldogs 11-8 in the opening period and 14-13 in the second. Both teams put seven shots on goal in the third with Adrian scoring the only goal of the period at 10:55. The visitors pulled their goalie with 49 seconds to play but were unable to pull even.
Dierking raised her record on the season to 8-2-2 and improved her goals-against average to 2.74 and save percentage to .901.
Lake Forest is now 16-5-3 on the year and on Saturday will take on the winner of the semifinal between Saint Scholastica and St. Norbert