The Free Press
ST PETER —
The second-ranked Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team advanced to its fourth consecutive Division III Frozen Four after defeating Wisconsin-River Falls 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament at the Don Roberts Ice Rink.
Sophomore forward Leah Johnson’s goal at 11:01 of the second period stood as the game-winner in the close contest.
“I’m just really proud of the girls,” coach Mike Carroll said. “It’s the same thing every year. Every team gives us their A game. We haven’t always embraced that very well, but this team has done a really good job with that.”
The undefeated Gusties (27-0-1) outshot River Falls 24-22 but held the Falcons to just four shots on goal in the third period as they hung onto their 2-1 lead.
“We played a great third period, and our goalie (Lindsey Hibbard) played great the whole game,” Carroll said.
Hibbard, a freshman, stopped 21 shots for the win. She stopped 11 shots in the second period.
Gustavus junior forward Melissa Doyle got the scoring started at 5:15 of the first period with an assist from senior Lindsey Hjelm. It was Doyle’s 10th goal of the season.
River Falls tied the game on a Judy Daleiden goal with 2:19 remaining in the first, taking some momentum into the first intermission.
Johnson scored her fourth goal of the year on assists from junior Maddie Bergh and sophomore Beth Olson.
The NCAA semifinals and finals will take place Friday and Saturday at Superior, Wis.
Gustavus will play Elmira at 7 p.m. Friday.