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UWRF women’s hockey falls to UW-Superior 3-1

February 4, 2016

The Falcons fell in a disappointing game Saturday afternoon, dropping a WIAC match-up to the UW-Superior Yellowjackets 3-1 at Hunt Arena.

UWRF had opportunities throughout the game by forcing the issue on many power plays and getting great looks on shots on goal. But ultimately, the Falcons couldn’t close the deal against the Yellowjackets team they’d previously defeated twice this season.

The Falcons started off by attacking UW-Superior goalie Sky Brown from the opening face-off. UWRF also managed to kill an early power play by the Yellowjackets and looked to be in control of the momentum.

But at 9:46 in the first period, Superior struck the first blow off of a Mikayla Goodin goal from sophomore Lexi Weiss that put the Yellowjackets in early control of the WIAC showdown.

The Yellowjackets built on their pace after their first goal, shutting down two River Falls power plays and forcing Falcon goalie Angie Hall to make some incredible saves in the closing seconds of the first period to keep the score at 1-0.

“This was a game where we didn’t come out with a sense of urgency. After the early goal we were forced to play catchup the entire game,” Head Coach Joe Cranston said.

UWRF owned the second period, but just couldn’t manage to put the puck in the net. Unlike the first period in which it was an even 9-9 comparison on shots on goal, the Falcons outshot the Yellowjackets 12-2 in the second period and had UW-Superior and fans on their toes throughout the 20 minutes. Dominating puck control and having many good looks on goal still couldn’t put the Falcons over the top and the score remained 1-0 going into the decisive third period.

The third period began strong for the Falcons but was blown open when Mikayla Goodin stole the puck in the UWRF zone and netted her second goal of the afternoon. Her eighth goal of the season propelled UW-Superior to a position that was going to be difficult for the Falcons to respond to.

And barely three minutes later, Yellowjacket Forward Kelly Cockerill scored a goal off of a put back shot to extend the UW-Superior lead to 3-0 and erase any doubt about the final result.

The Falcons fought valiantly until the end, pushing the Yellowjackets throughout the final five minutes with Angie Hall pulled from goal. Freshman Ashley Effertz managed to push through for her first goal of the season and bring the deficit to two with three minutes remaining. But in the end it just too little too late, with the Falcons losing to the Yellowjackets 3-1.

Cranston said, “Even though the bad first period was the difference, we played very well in the second and third periods but just couldn’t find the back of the net. If you don’t play a full 60 minutes it’s going to be tough to win in the WIAC.”

UWRF outshot Superior 34-16 on the day, but the Yellowjackets quick start and ability to shut down Falcon power plays proved to be too much for UWRF to overcome.

With the loss the number 10 ranked Falcons drop to 15-4-1 on the season and stay atop the WIAC conference standings at 6-3. They have managed to win 13 of their last 16 games as the regular season winds down. The Falcons next get a rematch with the Yellowjackets in Superior on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Cranston said, “We usually don’t drop two games in the second half of the season, but we have the chance to tweak the lines a little bit and come back this week. If we come out flying and set the pace we can win.”

UWRF next returns home on Feb. 9 to host the fourth ranked Adrian Bulldogs. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.