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icehockey-women-d3 flag | March 9, 2014

DIII: Wis.-River Falls earns WIAC title

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Wisconsin-River Falls claimed the first WIAC tournament title and take home the O'Brien Cup by beating the Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers 5-1 at Hunt Arena.

While in the past a conference championship win would mean an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament this year UWRF will be hoping their regular season resume along with the win will be enough for at large bid. 

Dani Sibley scored 37 seconds into the game for the Falcons, assisted by Alice Cranston and Emily Stark.

Just minutes later UWSP had a breakaway opportunity that was poked away by a sprawled out Ashley Kuechle as a Falcon defender went flying into the net. The UWRF defense and Kuechle stayed strong all game.

With just 20 seconds left in the first period Sibley came circling around taking a pass from Allie Olson and lighting the lamp to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead going into the second period. The two first period goals put Sibley at 13 on the season.

No. 1 Plattsburgh State 6, Utica 1

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Six different goal scorers guided Plattsburgh State to a 6-1 victory against Utica in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West semifinals on Saturday afternoon at the Stafford Ice Arena.

Alyssa Parke gave Plattsburgh State a 1-0 lead with her team-leading seventh power-play goal at the 11:09 mark of the first period. Ali Vakos and Bridget Balisy set up Parke, who skated into the right circle and lifted a high shot over Utica's Jennifer Hamel to put the Cardinals in front.

A little more than three minutes later, Allison Era's shot was turned away by Hamel but the puck rolled behind the Utica goaltender and Balisy knocked the loose puck into the empty net to give Plattsburgh State a 2-0 lead at 14:17 of the first.

With 21 seconds left in the first, Shannon Stewart gave Plattsburgh State a three-goal lead to take to the locker room at the end of the first. Era's shot from the right point was denied but Stewart was there to tap in the rebound for her 15th goal of the season.

No. 2 Elmira 3, Oswego State 0

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- A late goal in the first period was all Elmira (21-4-1) needed as Lisa Marshall posted a shutout to send the Soaring Eagles to the ECAC West championship game as EC defeated Oswego State (17-9-1) 3-0 in the conference semifinals.

Saturday's win marks Elmira's fifth consecutive win of the season and also their second consecutive trip to the ECAC West Conference finals. Sunday's championship game will feature, for the third time this season, the top two teams in the nation as Elmira will face Plattsburgh State. 

Elmira had their backs up against the wall in the first period as the Soaring Eagles killed three Oswego power plays. The Elmira penalty-kill unit was rewarded for their efforts late in the period when Tanis Lamoureux scored the game's first goal, and ultimately the game winner on a power-play opportunity, with just 18 ticks left on the clock. Lamoureux's winner was assisted by Ashley Ryan and Brooke Wilgosh.

After successfully killing Oswego's sixth power play opportunity of the game, Elmira delivered a crushing blow to the Lakers as the 2014 ECAC West Defensive Player of the Year, Brooke Wilgosh, scored an unassisted goal at the 8:16 mark of the third to put EC ahead 2-0. For Wilgosh, her two points marks her third consecutive multipoint game and her ninth of the season.

With the game winding down and Oswego's hopes going with it, Elmira's Erin Weston put the final nail in the coffin when she made a steal in the Lakers' defensive end, allowing her to score an empty-netter to seal EC's 3-0 win.

No. 3 Norwich 4, Castleton State 0

NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Norwich forwards Tori Charron and Emily MacKinnon both scored a pair of goals to lead the top-seeded Cadets to a 4-0 shutout win against the third-seeded Spartans of Castleton State in Saturday afternoon's ECAC East championship game.

With the win, the Cadets win their third consecutive ECAC East postseason title and qualify for their sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Charron was named the tournament's most outstanding player. With two scores on Saturday, she wrapped up the league tournament with four goals and two assists. MacKinnon and Kayla Parsons were named to the all-tournament team, alongside Cadets' goaltender Taylor Fairchild.

The Spartans had three all-tournament selections in Samantha Pion, Nocoline Jensen and Taylor Steadman.

No. 7 St. Thomas (Minn.) 2, Gustavus Adolphus 0

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Megan Juricko and Paige Baldwin scored first-period goals and Alise Riedel stopped 29 shots and recorded her 15th career shutout as top-seeded St. Thomas (Minn.) (19-5-3) scored a 2-0 win against second-seed Gustavus Adolphus in Saturday’s MIAC championship game.

The No. 7 Tommies advance to the national playoffs for the first time since 2003. They also ended No. 8 Gustavus’ 10-year streak as conference playoff champs and became the first team to shutout the Gusties in the playoffs’ 15-year history.

Lindsey Hibbard stopped 27 shots for the Gusties (17-8-2),

St. Thomas has won five in a row and is 14-2-2 since the holiday break, and ran its home win streak to eight.

Riedel improved her career record to 52-24-12 and has lost just once in her past 21 starts.

Juricko scored just 2:08 into the game, and Baldwin connected midway through period one in a game where no penalties were assessed.

No. 10 Lake Forest 3, St. Norbert 2 (OT)

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Lake Forest posted a 3-2 overtime victory against visiting St. Norbert in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Slaats Cup Final on Saturday. The Foresters will make their first trip to the NCAA Division III tournament next weekend.

The game winner was scored by junior forward Emily Wybo at the 4:04 mark of overtime. Sophomore forward Holly Lesperance raced up the right side before crossing the puck to Wybo, who lit the lamp for the seventh time this season before being mobbed by her teammates.

Overtime would not have occurred if not for the first goal of the year by senior defenseman Sarah Gilbride with just 4:16 to play in regulation. She skated up the middle of the ice and pushed the puck past the St. Norbert goaltender to tie the game at two.

Lake Forest also scored the first goal of the game with just 9.3 seconds remaining in the opening period. It was junior defenseman Laura Reckdenwald's fourth score of the season and was set up by passes from Wybo and junior defenseman Erin Shamley.