UW-River Falls Wins O'Brien Cup
(From UWRF Sports Information)
The Falcon women's hockey team claimed its fifth NCHA O'Brien Cup Championship with a 4-2 win over Adiran College on Saturday at Hunt Arena.
The Falcons have earned a spot in the NCAA Championships with the win. All of the teams selected, and game pairing, will be announced on Monday by the NCAA.
The Falcons, now 23-4-2 overall, won both the NCHA regular season and playoff titles for the third time in the history of the league. The Falcons also won both titles in 2003 and 2009. Only UW-Stevens Point has done the same.
"We played a great game today," said Falcon Coach Joe Cranston. "Melissa Deardroff continues to be our backbone. We worked hard and it paid off. We really wanted the O'Brien Cup back at Hunt Arena." In the 2011 NCHA Finals, Adrian took a 4-3 overtime win over the Falcons. But the Falcons responded with a big win on Saturday.
The score was tied, 2-2, after a wild first period that had the four goals scored in about a seven minute span. Adrian got on the board first when Olivia Rork scored a power-play goal with assists to Kelly Salis and Danielle Smith at 4:15.
The Falcons scored the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead. At 7:48 Allie Olson scored her fifth goal of the year with assists to Katie Batters and Brook Story. The Falcons went ahead, 2-1, at 11:07 when Katie Flanagan scored her 14th goal of the year. Alyssa Black picked up the only assist.
But the Falcon lead lasted just 14 seconds. AC's Courtney Millar scored an unassisted goal to tie the game.
The Falcons scored twice in the second period, and that's all they would need to claim the win.
Kait Mason scored what proved to be the game-winner at 2:40. Emma Nordness got the assist. It was Mason's 15th goal of the year. Story added the insurance goal at 11:25. Batters and Olson assisted Story on her eighth goal of the season.
Falcon goalie Melissa Deardorff entered the game riding a 380 minute shutout streak. She made several big saves in the game and finished the contest with 22 stops. AC's Emily Michelin (10) and Brittany Zeches (6) combined to make 16 saves.
Each team had five minor penalties. AC finished 1-4 on the power play and RF was 0-3.