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UWS women avenge loss

At the start of the season, the University of Wisconsin-Superior women's hockey team was selected to finish first in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in the preseason coaches poll. Conference rival UW-Stevens Point was chosen to finish ...

At the start of the season, the University of Wisconsin-Superior women's hockey team was selected to finish first in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in the preseason coaches poll. Conference rival UW-Stevens Point was chosen to finish second, but only a single point separated the two in voting.

Now, with the regular season coming to an end, the two teams are locked in a battle for the regular season title.

UWS got a big boost toward that goal with a 3-1 win over the Pointers Friday night at Wessman Arena. The Yellowjackets will play UW-Stevens Point again today at 2 p.m.

The loss was the first of the season for UW-Stevens Point, which leads the NCHA standings with a 12-1-2 conference record (17-1-2 overall). UWS, currently second in the NCHA with a 10-2-1 conference record (15-4-1 overall), kept its destiny in its own hands with Friday's win. If the Yellowjackets win all of their remaining games, they will finish one point ahead of UW-Stevens Point, regardless of how the Pointers do.

The Yellowjackets' victory Friday also avenged an earlier loss UWS had suffered to UW-Stevens Point on Dec. 7. In that game, the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Pointers came away with a one-point victory, 2-1.

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Earlier this week, UWS sophomore goaltender Melissa Kunzelman said special teams would be the difference between a win and a loss for the Yellowjackets. She was proved correct Friday as UWS was 2-for-5 on power-play attempts to earn a two-point win. The Pointers went 0-of-3 on power plays.

UWS got on the board first when Brianne Mosher scored a power-play goal at 12:52 in the first period. She was assisted by Kirsti Hakala.

Stevens Point came back to tie the game in the second period with a goal from Dana Carothers at 7:29. Michelle Sosnowski, Nicole Grossmann assisted on the play.

But about one and a half minutes later, the Yellowjackets struck again with another power-play goal. Senior Gina Baranzelli made what would be the game-winning shot with help from Jasmine Pollock and Hakala.

Pollock then put the game out of reach in the third period when she scored unassisted empty-net goal at 18:54.

Kunzelman picked up the win in goal for UWS with a strong performance. She stopped all but one of the 30 shots the Pointers fired at her, as UW-Stevens Point outshot UWS 30-19.

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