UW-River Falls takes 1-0 series lead on UW-Eau Claire
RIVER FALLS, Wisc. -- Melissa Deardorff made 12 saves and Katie Flanagan scored twice to help lead the Falcon women's hockey team to a 5-0 win over UW-Eau Claire on Friday night at Hunt Arena in the first round of the NCHA O'Brien Cup playoffs.
The Falcons, now 20-4-2 overall, have a one-game-to-none lead in the best two-out-of-three game series. The Falcons host UWEC again on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. If the Falcons win or tie the game, they will advance to the NCHA semifinals next weekend.
After a slow start the Falcons had a solid first period and held a 2-0 lead. Alice Cranston gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 7:20. Judy Daleiden gave Cranston a pass in front and Cranston beat the goalie over her right shoulder. It was Cranston's 15th goal of the year. The shot was UWRF's first shot on goal of the period. The next Falcon goal came when they were killing a penalty. Katie Flanagan picked up a loose puck in the UWEC zone and beat the EC goalie through the five hole with a backhander. The goal was Flanagan's 12th of the year and her first short-handed goal of the season. Cranton had the assist. The Falcons had an 8-4 advantage in shots.
The Falcons, ranked No. 8 in this week's USCHO.com poll, scored three times in the second period to lead 5-0 after two. Flanagan picked up her second of the game at 10:51 scoring off a rebound. Alyssa Black took a shot that was stopped and Flanagan made no mistake on the rebound. Sam Greeley also had an assist on Flanagan's 13th goal of the year. Kait Mason scored a pretty goal at 12:19 to give UWRF a 4-0 lead. She broke in on the EC goal and deked the goalie down to score into an empty net. Amanda Ryder picked up the assist. It was Mason's 14th goal of the year. At 17:29 Katie Batters scored her team-best 17th goal of the year. She scored with a backhand shot. UWRF had an 11-5 advantage in shots in the period.
The third period was scoreless but the Falcons kept the pressure on. They had a 14-3 advantage in shots, and finished with a 33-12 advantage in shots for the game.
UWEC, now 9-13-4 overall, took five minor penalties and the Falcons finished 1-5 on the power-play. UWRF took three minors.
"We played three really good periods," said Falcon Coach Joe Cranston. "It was nice to be able to play our four line a lot in the third period. I thought we were in control of every aspect of the game."
The Falcons have won 20 games for four straight years and five in the sport's history. The shutout was the team's fifth of the season