Cardinals, Panthers, Eagles and Gusties vie for women’s hockey titlePlattsburgh State will play Middlebury College in the first semifinal game at 3:30 p.m. today and Elmira College and Gustavus Adolphus will meet at 7 p.m.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
The University of Wisconsin-Superior will host the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championships this weekend at Wessman Arena.
Plattsburgh State will play Middlebury College in the first semifinal game at 3:30 p.m. today and Elmira College and Gustavus Adolphus will meet at 7 p.m.
The third-place game is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the championship game at 7 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased in advance through the NCAA web site. For ticket questions and more information contact the UWS Athletic Department, 715-395-4693.
The Cardinals, who have been ranked No. 2 throughout the season advanced to the national semifinals with a 5-2 win over St. Norbert, will be making their second straight NCAA tournament appearance and ninth overall.
The Cardinals (26-0-2) are led by senior forward Teal Gove, who set career-highs in all offensive categories with 25 goals, 21 assists, nine power-play goals and five game-winning tallies. Sophomore Shannon Stewart added 20 goals and 37 points while junior Jenny Kistner is third on the team with 31 points.
Goaltender Sydney Aveson anchors the Plattsburgh defense with a 1.12 goals-against average that is good for second in Division III. A two-time ECAC West Goalie of the Year, Aveson is eighth with a .939 save percentage, second with eight shutouts and enters the weekend with a 21-0-2 record.
The Panthers, who advance to the Frozen Four with a 3-2 overtime victory over Norwich University, will make their seventh appearance in the NCAA semifinals.
Middlebury is in the midst of its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and have won more tournament games (15-7) than any other school in Division III history with a .682 winning percentage in NCAA games.
Sophomore Katie Sullivan scored all three goals in the Panthers’ win over Norwich.
Middlebury won three straight titles from 2004-06, advancing to the finals in 2007.
The Middlebury offense is led by sophomore Hannah Bielawski, who owns nine goals and 30 points. Sophomore Emily Fluke leads the team with 16 goals to go along with 12 assists for 28 points. Sullivan (13-12-25), senior Lauren Greer (10-10-20), junior Jennifer Krakower (3-15-18) and junior Madeline Joyce (7-10-17) round out the team’s leading scorers.
Defensively, Madison Styrbicki (3-13-16) is a four-time All-NESCAC selection. The senior, along with her fellow captain Heather Marrison (5-9-14) anchor the blue line.
In goal, Annabelle Jones has started the last five games for the Panthers and has an 11-3-2. Junior Laura Pinsent has started 10 games, owning a 6-4 mark.
The Soaring Eagles, who defeated Bowdoin College 4-0 to stay in the hunt for the national title, won back-to-back national championships in its first two seasons as a program (2001-02, 2002-03). They have also made it to the national championship game four times in its previous 11 year history and are 2-2 in title games.
The Soaring Eagles are 11-6 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
Elmira’s defense is anchored by goaltender Lauren Sullivan, whose 1.23 goals against average is the second best in Division III. She is also tied for the national lead in shutouts with nine, despite playing in just 17 contests. Sullivan also boasts a .932 save percentage playing over 1,000 minutes.
Freshmen Olivia Nystrom was named to the ECAC West All-Rookie Team after leading the conference in freshman scoring averaging 0.93 points a game and finishing with four goals, nine assists and 13 points in conference play.
The Gusties improved to 27-0-1 with a 2-1 win over UW-River Fall in the NCAA quarterfinals.
The only blemish on their record is a 1-1 tie with the UWS Yellowjackets.
Lindsey Hjelm leads the Gusties in scoring with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points. Next with 24 points apiece are A. Elder-Zdechlik (14-10) and Meagan Wanecke (12-12).
Gustavus Adolphus has used three goaltenders this season, Lindsey Hibbard is 16-0-1, Tara Hoverstad is 7-0 and Colleen Jacoby is 4-0.
The Gusties have outscored their opponents 97-32 and hold an advantage of 1,144-478 in shots on goal.
NCAA Division III Women’s Frozen Four
When: Today and Saturday
Where:Wessman Arena, Superior
Tickets:Adults, $20 both days, $12 per day; seniors (62 and older), $15 both days, $10 per day; Under 12, $7 both days, $4 per day, or call (715) 395-4693