Women’s Hockey Back in the Frozen Four, Will Face Plattsburgh Friday Posted on March 15th, 2023 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. — Following their 2-1 NCAA Quarterfinal victory over UW-River Falls, the Gusties (25-3-0) are set to travel to Amherst, Mass. for a semifinal matchup against the Cardinals of Plattsburgh State for the two teams’ second straight meeting in the Frozen Four. The winner of the 2 p.m. game will advance to the Championship game Sunday.

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Game Notes


Friday’s game will be held at Orr Rink on the campus of Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. Tickets are cash-only and will be available at the rink on the day of the game. The winner will advance to the title game hosted at Orr Rink once again, with puck drop slotted for 2 p.m. Sunday.


The Gusties made their third-straight NCAA tournament appearance and 16th in program history (2002, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 2010, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 22). Including last Saturday’s win, the Gusties now hold an all-time record of 14-20 in NCAA tournament games. Friday’s game against Plattsburgh will mark the Gusties’ 10th appearance in the Frozen Four and second in as many years. The Gusties’ second-place finish last season marked the post-season run in program history. Only Middlebury (18), Plattsburgh State (18), and Elmira (17) have more appearances at the NCAA Championships in its 21-year history.


The Gusties finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 conference record to claim their 18th conference championship. As the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs, the Gusties received a bye through the first round of playoffs. They then defeated Hamline 5-1 in the semifinals before dealing Augsburg a 4-2 setback for their 14th MIAC Playoff Championship. Gustavus has been impressive on both ends of the ice this season, posting the NCAA’s best defensive numbers, holding opponents to only 0.82 goals per game this season, the best mark of any team. On the offensive end, the Gusties have consistently led the nation in power play goals, scoring 37 this season with the player advantage. The Gusties have the second-best winning percentage in Division III at 89.3% and rank in the NCAA’s top 10 in 12 different statistical categories. The Gusties’ offensive efforts have been led by a trio of seniors, as Hailey Holland (Aberdeen, S.D.), Emily Olson (Delano), and Tina Press (Cottage Grove) have combined for 91 points this season as linemates. On the defensive end, returning All-American Kayla Vrieze (Sr., Eagan) has kept opponents at bay with defensive partner Brooke Remington (Jr., Scandia), a transfer from DI Franklin Pierce University. Katie McCoy (Sr., Grafton, Wis.) has been the Gusties’ go-to netminder, starting in 27 of the Gusties’ 28 games and earning her place atop the NCAA leaderboard in multiple categories.


Plattsburgh advanced to the national tourney after defeating SUNY-Cortland 2-0 in the NEWHL Playoff Championship, earning the program’s fifth NEWHL title and 18th NCAA appearance on the conference’s automatic qualifier. The Cardinals earned a bye through the first round of the tournament, before matching up against Middlebury in last Saturday’s quarterfinal. The Cardinals defeated the defending champions 4-2, getting goals from Emma McLean, Sara Krauseneck, Ivy Boric, and Nicole Unsworth. Cardinal goaltender Ashley Davis made 28 saves on 30 shots in the game, while the Cardinals put 37 of their own on net. Krauseneck, a native of Saginaw, Mich., leads the team in points with 40 this season, 10 more than the next two closest teammates. Krauseneck has put forth a consistent offensive effort, scoring 20 goals and 20 assists. Behind Krauseneck are seniors Julia Masotta and Sierra Benjamin, tied for second in points with 30 each. Benjamin leads all Cardinal defenders in scoring and has posted 25 assists for the team lead. Between the pipes, Lilla Nease has seen the most time in net, starting and playing in 19 games, averaging 1.36 goals against with a .937 save percentage. Her goalie partner Davis has started in the Cardinals’ last three games and eight all season, averaging 0.79 goals against and a .962 save percentage.


Gustavus and Plattsburgh have met a total of seven times in the teams’ histories, with the Cardinals holding a winning record of 4-2-1 against the Gusties. Gustavus, however, holds the win streak, as a 5-1 victory in last year’s NCAA Semifinal marked the Gusties’ second win over the Cardinals. The two programs have met four different times in the NCAA tournament. Gustavus earned the third-place title in 2005 over the Cardinals in their first meeting, while Plattsburgh returned the favor, taking home third in 2012 and 2013 over the Gusties. Against the Cardinals, the Gusties have scored 20 goals to their 22, averaging 2.86 goals per game. The Cardinals are returning to the NCAA Tourney for the 18th time, and to the Frozen Four for the 10th consecutive season. Plattsburgh holds the most national championships of any team, earning the nation’s top title seven times (2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019).


The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team defeated Plattsburgh State 5-1 in an NCAA Division III semifinal game at Middlebury College, advancing to the national championship game. The win marked a historic moment for the Gustavus women’s hockey program, which had reached the Frozen Four nine times but never reached the NCAA Division III championship game.
Plattsburgh State, the defending champions from the last pre-COVID-19 national tournament in 2019, scored just 1:21 into the game to go up 1-0, but the Gusties responded 46 seconds later with a goal from Molly McHugh to tie the game at 1-1. From there, the Gusties didn’t look back, adding a goal from Hailey Holland with 6:35 left in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

Gustavus added a power play goal from Tina Press at 17:04 of the second period to stretch the lead to 3-1 before Plattsburgh had a would-be goal waved off for high-sticking at 16:46. The Gusties notched a short-handed goal from Brooke Power with 12:38 left in the second to increase the lead to 4-1, and Hannah Gray closed the scoring with 4:49 remaining in the contest to push the final score to 5-1 in favor of the Gusties.

Gustavus was seemingly in full control throughout the majority of the game, outshooting the Cardinals 35-16. Katie McCoy stood up to a number of Plattsburgh scoring chances and made 15 saves in the win. The Gusties went 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off Plattsburgh’s lone advantage.


The Gusties defeated UW-River Falls 2-1 last Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Quarterfinal round at Don Roberts Ice Rink. All three goals were scored in the first period, as the all-senior Gustavus first-line found the back of the net twice in the opening 12 minutes of play. Emily Olson got the Gusties on the board with a rebound tally in front of the net, and MIAC Offensive Player of the Year Hailey Holland added the eventual game-winner just six minutes later. The Falcons broke through at the end of the period, capitalizing on a power play opportunity to cut the lead in half.

From there, the goaltenders stole the show, as Katie McCoy and Falcon counterpart Sami Miller were perfect the rest of the way. McCoy finished the final two periods making 24 saves, shutting out the nation’s top power play for the remainder of the game. The Gusties took back the momentum in the third, combining for 13 shots and making some key defensive stops to keep the Falcons at bay, including a penalty kill in the final three minutes of the game.

Olson, Press, and Holland finished with all of the Gusties’ points, as Press assisted both first period goals, and Olson and Holland each added their own assist. Katie McCoy was the star of the show, making 31 saves overall between the pipes, while Miller made 33 in her final game for the Falcons.


The Gusties set a record for most MIAC All-Conference selections by a single team with eight this year. Hailey Holland, Emily Olson, Tina Press, Brooke Power (Jr., Lakeville), Kaitlyn Holland (So., Aberdeen, S.D), Kayla Vrieze, Brooke Remington, and Katie McCoy all earned the honor, the MIAC office announced last week. Honors for Hailey Holland and Press were both the third All-Conference awards for the players, with Holland earning the distinction in every season of her career. Olson, Power, and Vrieze all earned the award for the second time in their career. The elder Holland sister and Kayla Vreize took home two of the MIAC’s major awards, as Holland was named MIAC Offensive Player of the Year and Vrieze her defensive counterpart. Lily Mortenson (Fy., Champlin) earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors, while Hailey Holland, Vrieze, and Press were also named to the MIAC All-Playoff team for their performances in the Gusties’ two playoff games, rounding out the Gusties’ MIAC post-season awards at a total of 14.


Hailey Holland is the team’s point leader, followed closely by linemates Olson and Press. Holland has 35 points on 19 goals and 16 assists, averaging 1.25 points per game and 4.8 shots per game. Olson, the MIAC’s resident playmaker, has scored 29 points this season on seven goals and 22 helpers. Rounding out the top three with her linemates is fifth-year senior Press, who has scored 27 on 15 goals and 12 assists. Holland and Press share the team’s lead in shorthanded goals at two a piece.


For the third time in her career, Tina Press has scored more than 25 points in a season, entering Friday’s game with 27. A majority of those points came in the second half of the season, as the winter break proved to be the game-changer for Press, who erupted for 24 points after Jan. 1. Press is on a 4-game point streak, having scored multiple points in all of the Gusties’ post-season appearances. In her last three playoff games, Press has four goals and three assists. In her career, Press has appeared in 15 playoff games, including both MIAC and NCAA competitions. Press averages just over a point per game in the playoffs, scoring 17 total on eight goals and nine assists in her career.


Katie McCoy has proven herself to be one of the NCAA’s best goaltenders this season. Starting in 27 of the Gusties’ 28 games, McCoy has earned the second-best winning percentage in the NCAA at 88.9%, second only to Plattsburgh’s Lilla Nease, and the second-best goals-against-average at 0.84. With McCoy in net, the Gusties have posted the second most shutouts in NCAA DIII with 13 total. McCoy’s 26 career shutouts are the most by any goaltender in program history, and only one behind UW-Eau Claire’s Stephanie Martin, who leads all NCAA goaltenders — male or female — in shutouts at 27. McCoy holds a postseason record of 11-2-3 in her career and averages 1.29 goals against in playoff games.


Head Coach Mike Carroll has added another impressive season to his illustrious career this year, earning the program’s 18th MIAC Regular Season Championship and third in a row, the program’s third-consecutive and 14th MIAC Playoff Championship, and making his 16th NCAA appearance and 10th in the Final Four. His team’s record of 25-3 has helped him maintain the second-winningest record of all DIII women’s hockey coaches at 490-123-48.

His counterpart on the Cardinal bench, Kevin Houle, has had an impressive career for himself, as well, leading the program since the 2003-04 season. Houle has made 18 NCAA appearances and won 11 conference championships between the ECAC and NEWHL. He sits behind Carroll as the third-most winningest coach in DIII women’s hockey history, with a career record of 475-56-26.


Tina Press and Hailey Holland became the 13th and 14th players in Gustavus women’s hockey history to eclipse 100 career points and currently sit amongst the top 15 in the record books for their totals. Press now sits eighth in all-time scoring with 120 points, only two points away from moving up a spot into seventh. Press would need 65 points to catch now Assistant Coach Andrea Peterson, who leads all Gusties with 185 career points, but can crack the top 5 with 11 more. Meanwhile, Holland is tied for 11th all-time with 110, needing only three more points to sit directly behind Press in ninth. Katie McCoy, who already leads the program in shutouts at 26, is second in all0-time wins, needing only four more to tie Danielle Justice for first.


The opposite semifinal game features a pair of familiar foes, as the Amherst Mammoths (25-3-0) and Hamilton Continentals (22-5-2) will face each other for the fourth time this season. Both teams hail from the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). In both teams’ first conference series of the season, each came away with a victory. Amherst opened the series with a 4-0 win, with the Continentals returning the favor the next day with a 2-0 victory. The teams met once again in the NESCAC Playoff Championship, with the Mammoths winning decisively, 5-0, earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed.


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