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Women’s hockey wins NCAA quarterfinal game, advances to semifinals

March 15, 2014

After getting knocked out of the NCAA quarterfinal game the past four years the UW-River Falls women’s hockey team won this afternoon 4-1 over Lake Forest College and will advance to the NCAA semifinals.

The first goal of game was scored by Brianna Breiland at 13:04 of the first period. The goal would be the only one of the period despite both teams getting opportunities to score. Ashley Kuechle played strong in net for UWRF all game recording 15 saves.

Karleigh Wolkerstorfer scored a top shelf goal halfway through the second period and Brook Story connected on a cross ice pass from Chloe Kinsel just moments later to give UWRF the 3-0 lead. They took that lead into the third period.

Dani Sibley scored the Falcons final goal on a power play in the third period. She was also the third freshmen to score in the game. “It was huge to get scoring from three freshmen this late in the season,” Head Coach Joe Cranston said after the game.

With just 24 seconds left in the game Lake Forest scored a goal but the Falcons held on to win and instantly piled on top of each other as the final buzzer sounded. “We played really well from the start to the end,” Cranston said. “You could see after the game the emotion of the girls and how much they wanted this win.”

UWRF attempted 27 shots on goal in the game and went 1-5 on power play opportunities.

This was the sixth straight appearance in the NCAA tournament for UWRF. The last time the team played in the semi-finals was in the 2008-2009 season when they finished fourth place.

Both semi-final games will be played on Friday, March 21, with times and the place yet to be officially determined. If the Falcons win they will play in the championship game Saturday, March 22, and if they lose they will play in a third place game Saturday, March 22. The other three teams left are Plattsburgh State (N.Y.), Norwich University, (Vt.) and St. Thomas University.

“We have not been there in a while and are just excited to get there and play,” Cranston said.