Womens D-III wrap: Jan. 20

Falcons shutdown Saints
Wisconsin-River Falls goalie Ashley Kuechle posted back-to-back shutouts (3-0, 2-0) on home ice against struggling St. Scholastica. The Falcons ran their victory string to eight as a result. Kuechle (9-2-2, 1.21) equaled a program record with her sixth whitewash of the season; Plattsburgh’s Sydney Aveson leads the nation with eight. The Saints bolted out the starting proverbial blocks in opening the season, fashioning an 8-0-2 record along the way, but have experienced a loss of noticeable offense coming out of the break. Kuechle squelched both Nina and Isabel Waidacher, turning aside a combined 18 shots from the county’s top two scoring leaders. The Saints extended their current loss streak to four.

St. Thomas moved to within one point of first place Gustavus Adolphus in the MIAC, following a pair of wins in a home-and-home with St. Catherine.  The Tommies received a 19-save, 2-0, road win from goaltender Alise Riedel on Saturday. St. Thomas improved to 7-0-1 in conference action. Riedel backstopped a 5-2 win at home on Friday, turning away 15 bids by the Wildcats. Junior forward Paige Baldwin had a pair of goals and an assist in pacing the Tommies offensive pursuits.

Gustavus Adolphus stayed perfect in the MIAC (8-0-0) thanks to Emily Gustafson’s game-winning goal in the third period of the Golden Gusties matchup with Augsburg on Saturday at Don Roberts Ice Arena. The Auggies closed to within one with under two minutes remaining in regulation, but senior goalie Marah Sobczak, who relieved starter Lindsey Hibbard midway through the second period, held the Auggies in check in the final moments in preserving the victory. Surprisingly, the Augsburg crew stayed within reach of a potential upset, despite finishing with just seven shots on net. Backed by a four-goal second period, Hibbard earned the win in the opener as well; collecting 14 saves in a 5-2 Gusties win at the Augsburg Ice Arena.

Amherst outshot No. 2 Middlebury 34-15 in a 2-1 loss at the Orr Rink Friday night, allowing the Panthers to stay at the peak of the NESCAC conference. Madeline Joyce’s power-play score in the second proved to be the decisive goal. The following afternoon, the teams combined for six goals in the third, leading to an eventual 5-5 tie. Middlebury moves to 6-0-2, while the Jeffs stay close at 5-1-2.