UW-River Falls Preps for NCAA'S
(From UWRF Sports Information)
The Falcon women’s hockey team will play at Gustavus Adolphus College in a NCAA Tournament first round game onSaturday.
The game is scheduled for 2 p.m., on Saturday at the Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter, Minn. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. Tickets will be on sale at the door. There will be no advanced ticket sales. For more information on tickets call the Gustavus Adolphus ticket office at: 507-933-7617.
“We’re looking forward to going to Gustavus,” said Falcon Coach Joe Cranston. “The games between these two teams are always great contests – usually one goal games. We’ll be ready to go.”
It’s becoming a habit for these two teams to meet in post-season competition. In each of the last three years the teams have met in first round games. In 2009 at Gustavus the Falcons won, 2-1. In 2010 at Gustavus the Gusties won, 2-0. Last year in River Falls the Gusties took a 4-1 win at Hunt Arena. GAC holds a 4-14-3
The two teams played once earlier this year and that game ended in a 1-1 overtime tie on Dec. 6 in St. Peter, Minn. UWRF’s Kait Mason scored at 17:46 of the second period and GAC’s Melissa Doyle tied the game at 4:23 of the third period. Falcon goalie Ashley Kuechle stopped 35 shots and GAC’s Danielle Justice stopped 22.
UWRF enters the NCAA Tourney with a 23-4-2 overall record. They are 7-1-2 in road games. The Falcons won the NCHA regular season title with a 17-2-1 record and last weekend won the NCHA O’Brien Cup title with a 4-2 win over Adrian on Saturday at Hunt Arena. The Falcons have won four straight games and 10 of their last 11 contests.
Katie Batters leads the Falcons in scoring with a team-high 18 goals and 31 points. Four other Falcons have scored more than 11 goals this year; Alice Cranston (16-12-28); Katie Flanagan (14-13-27); Mason (15-11-26) and Alyssa Black (11-12-23). UWRF averages 4-23 goals per game. Emma Nordness (8-17-25) and Brook Story (8-17-25) each have 17 assists and that leads the team.
Goalie Melissa Deardorff has been on a hot streak lately. She went 342 minutes and 15 seconds without allowing a goal until Adrian scored in the first period of Saturday’s NCHA title game. She has recorded a school record six shutouts this year. She is 16-3 with a 1.52 goals against average and a .932 saves percentage. Kuechle has played in nine games and is 6-1-2. She has a 1.85 goals against average and a .930 saves percentage. The Falcons allowed just 1.64 goals a game.
This is UWRF’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Tourney and the third straight year the Falcons have qualified. The Falcons also appeared in the 2003 tourney. UWRF is 2-6 in tourney play. The Falcons advanced to the semifinals in 2003 and 2009. The team’s best finish is fourth place in both 2003 and 2009.
In this week's USCHO.com poll, the Gusties are ranked No. 5 and the Falcons No. 7.
In other first round games, Con.-Moorhead travels to Rochester Institute; Plattsburgh State is at Middlebury and Amherst goes to Norwich.
The semifinals and finals will be played on March 16-17 at a site to be determined.