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Women’s hockey splits with fifth ranked Stevens Point

November 21, 2014

The UW-River Falls women’s hockey team faced off against the UW-Stevens Point Pointers last weekend and came out of the two-game series with a win and a loss.

The Falcons switched spots with the Pointers in the Div. III USCHO.com rankings. As of Nov. 17, the Falcons are ranked sixth and the pointers are ranked fifth.

The Falcons defeated the Pointers in its first matchup on Nov. 14 by the score of 3-2. The game started out rough, and the Falcons found themselves losing 2-0 in the second period, but the Falcons would respond with three unanswered goals to get the victory in its first WIAC game of the season.

Sophomore forward Karleigh Wolkerstorfer and freshman forward Dani Kocina both scored in the second period for the Falcons to tie up the game at two. Nine minutes into the third period, freshman forward Amy Auran put the game-winning-goal into the back of the net and the Falcons won the game 3-2.

Falcons Head Coach Joe Cranston was pleased with the Falcons first conference game.

“It’s great to get a win against Stevens Point, they’re obviously a really good team and they’re really physical,” Cranston said. “We outplayed them, we out skated them all three periods.”

The second game of the series came the next day, Nov. 15. The Pointers capitalized on a Falcon penalty late in the first period and scored the first goal of the game with 16 seconds left in the first. The next goal came five minutes in the second and the Pointers took a 2-0 lead.

Junior forward Chloe Kinsel responded for the Falcons with two goals of her own and the game was tied up at two. The Pointers then scored the game-winning goal with two minutes left in the game.

Cranston said that he thought the Falcons outplayed the Pointers despite the loss.

“I think we’re the better team, but we missed a couple open nets,” Cranston said. “We had five or six really good scoring chances in the third to win the game, but we couldn’t bury the puck.”

The Falcons out-shot the Pointers in both games and in the end goalkeeping is what decided the last game. Cranston said that Stevens Point has one of the best goalies in the country.

He also said that Falcons freshman goaltender Angie Hall is getting better every game she plays.

Five games into the season the Falcons have a 3-2 record, which is a better start to the season than last year, a season where the Falcons finished third in the country.

The season is young and for some teams it takes a while for them to get into a grove, but Kinsel thinks the team will all be on the same page soon.

“It’s still early, we’re still trying to figure out what’s going to work best, but I think we’re definitely improving,” Kinsel said.

UW-Eau Claire is next on the Falcons’ schedule and Cranston expects the Falcons to get two victories from the Blugolds.

“The only way an Eau Claire team can beat us is if they out-work us,” Cranston said.

The Falcons take on the Blugolds in Hunt Arena on Friday, Nov. 21, with drop of the puck at 2:05 p.m. The series will finish in Eau Claire at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.