Hopes of a successful weekend came to an abrupt halt for a pair of top-10 clubs this week. The upsets both came out of the WIAC and NCHA. Back east, the polar opposite was on the menu for top-ranked Plattsburgh, which rolled past Buffalo State in a pair of shutouts. Through six outings, the Cardinals have yet to allow a goal.
Wisconsin-Stevens Point poised to shuffle polls
Cassandra Salmen needed a scant nine seconds of overtime to propel unranked Wis.-Steven Point to a sweep of No. 6 Wisconsin-River Falls. Salmen’s goal finished off a 5-4 win for the Pointers, who had constructed a 2-1 win the previous afternoon. In the opener, it was a late third-period score by Emily Lester that finished off the Falcons. A common thread in both successes was the crisp play of Pointers goalie Janna Beilke-Skoug. The junior goaltender, who entered the series with a .981 save percentage, finished with 65 saves combined while advancing her record to 4-0-1.
The Pointers held Falcons top scorer Katie Batters to one shot on goal in the opener, and most importantly, scoreless for the weekend. Classmate Brook Story and freshman Karleigh Wolkerstorfer were kept off the score sheet entirely in the initial game. Skoug rebuffed 32 shots in the win, while the Pointers registered 13 shots on River Falls goalkeeper Gillian McDonald. Wolkerstorfer got on track in the overtime game, putting two past Skoug, including the go-ahead score six minutes into the third, but Meredith Ingbretson evened the game 2:14 later, setting the scene for Salmen’s extra-time winner. The Pointers were booted from the playoffs last spring after the Falcons unleashed a 7-0 lopsided win in WIAC semifinals.
Over time, St. Scholastica’s double win over No. 9 St. Norbert last weekend might not be described as an upset. At this juncture of the season however, the unranked Saints certainly raised some eyebrows, with both victories coming at the Green Knights Resch Olympic Pavilion. Nina Waidacher, the nation’s leading goal scorer, upper her total to 14 on the season with a pair in each game, including the game-winner in Friday’s 3-2 victory.
The Saints trailed 1-0 in the opening moments of the second period in game two before racking up three goals, one by each of the Waidacher trio (Nina, Isabel and Monika) in a stretch of just over 10 minutes in capping the victory. St. Norbert outshot the Saints in both losses. The Green Knights, who entered 2013-14 with a 15-10-1 home record over the previous two seasons, are 1-2-1 thus far at Resch.
Plattsburgh offense hits high notes yet again.
Fresh off a tight 1-0 win over nonconference opponent Castleton State the previous week, Plattsburgh got back at it in earnest in a 7-0 drubbing of Buffalo State at home Saturday afternoon. Jenny Kister collected a hat trick for the Cardinals, who fired 60 shots on Bengals goalie Jordan Lane. Perhaps the most telling statistic was a 23-0 edge by the home club in shots on goal in the middle period. Sunday afternoon, coach Kevin Houle’s club offered up a similar performance in an 8-0 knockout. On this occasion, it was Mel Ames who provided the Cards with a three-goal output. Plattsburgh won the shots on goal battle to the tune of 55 to 11. Freshman Cami Leonard, starting her first game of the season, made 11 saves in the shutout.