The Gustavus women’s hockey team has been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament and the Gusties will host the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in a quarterfinal game on Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 pm at Don Roberts Ice Rink. This is the eighth consecutive year that Gustavus has been selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the Gustavus/UW-River Falls game will advance to the NCAA Tournament Semifinals, which will be held at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont on March 20-21. Tickets for Saturday’s game, which are $6 for adults and $3 for students, will be sold the day of the game only, beginning one hour prior to the start of the contest.
The Gusties, who won both the regular season and playoff titles in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by defeating St. Thomas 3-0 in the MIAC Playoff Championship game last Wednesday, March 4 at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Coach Mike Carroll’s squad has been on quite a roll of late having won seven consecutive games by shutout and out-scoring its opponents 28-0 during that stretch. Offensively, the team has been led lately by the quartet of seniors Jessie Doig and Mari Gunderson, junior Melissa Mackley, and first year Allie Schwab. That group has combined to score 18 of the 27 goals during the shutout streak with Gunderson and Schwab scoring five goals each, and Doig and Mackley scoring four goals each. Defensively, Gustavus has been led all season by the first year goaltending tandem of Danielle Justice and Emily Klatt. Justice is 10-1-4 with a 0.71 goals against average and seven shutouts, while Klatt is 12-0-0 with a 0.69 goals against average and six shutouts. Klatt ranks first in Division III in goals against average (0.69), while Justice is second (0.71). Gustavus is in the midst of a 26-game unbeaten streak (22-0-4) dating back to the first game of the season when the Gusties lost to Adrian 2-1 in overtime. The streak is the longest in women’s collegiate hockey this season. Gustavus enters the tournament with a record of 22-1-4.
The Falcons, who won both the regular season and playoff titles in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by defeating UW-Stevens Point 5-3 on March 1 in NCHA Playoff Championship game in River Falls. This is the second time that UW-River Falls has participated in the NCAA Tournament (the first was in 2003). The Falcons have five players who have scored 23 or more points this year including Jessica Thompson (9-21-30), Stefanie Schmitz (13-14-27), Abby Sunderman (15-11-26), Jamie Briski (15-8-23) and Ashly Berner (9-14-23). Goalie Cassi Campbell is 12-2-2 with a 1.89 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. Goalie Melissa Deardorff is 7-3-1 with a 1.43 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. UW-River Falls enters the tournament with a record of 19-5-3.
The two teams met earlier this season with Gustavus claiming a 5-3 win in St. Peter on January 27. The Gusties jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Falcons fought back to pull within one at 4-3 in the third period. Jessie Doig’s goal for Gustavus with five minutes left in the game secured the victory for the Gusties. This will be 14th time that Gustavus and UW-River Falls have played in women’s hockey and the Gusties have compiled a mark of 9-2-2 in the previous 13 meetings. The two squads have not ever met in the NCAA Tournament before.
In other NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal games, Plattsburgh plays at Amherst, while Norwich travels to Elmira. The winner of the Gustavus/UW-River Falls game will play the winner of the Elmira/Norwich game in one NCAA Semifinal game, while the winner of the Plattsburgh/Amherst game will face host Middlebury College in the other NCAA Semifinal game.
2009 NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Tournament
Quarterfinals, March 13, 14, or 15th
Plattsburgh (22-4-2) at Amherst (21-5)
Norwich (19-8-1) at Elmira (22-4-1)
UW-River Falls (19-5-3) at Gustavus Adolphus (22-1-4)
Semifinals, Friday, March 20
Kenyon Arena — Middlebury College
Norwich/Elmira winner vs. UW-River Falls/Gustavus Adolphus winner — 3:30 p.m.
Plattsburgh/Amherst winner vs. Middlebury (19-3-2) — 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 21
Kenyon Arena – Middlebury College
Third-Place game — 3:30 p.m.
NCAA Championship — 7 p.m.