Women’s D-III weekend wrap: Gustavus solidifes MIAC lead

Kaleigh Martinson of Wisconsin-Superior (Marya Zajchowski)
Kaleigh Martinson scored the game-winner for Wisconsin-Superior (Marya Zajchowski)

No. 5 Gustavus sweeps St. Thomas
Coming into the weekend, this was one of the big series on tap. Gustavus had struggled against St. Thomas in recent seasons, and the Tommies have one of the best defenses in the country. Gustavus swept the series, winning a typical close game between the two on Friday, 1-0, and exploding for a 6-0 win on Saturday. In Saturday’s win, Hailey Holland scored a natural hat trick. Holland’s final goal was a power-play strike at 9:10 of the second period. It was the first power-play goal allowed by the Tommies all season. For good measure, Molly McHugh scored a power-play goal a minute after Holland’s. St. Thomas went through all of three of its goalies in the game, while Gustavus’ Katie McCoy made 20 saves in the shutout win.

Wisconsin-Superior edges No. 7 Wisconsin-River Falls
While Wisconsin-Superior has done well in games against teams from outside Wisconsin, including a tie with then No. 4 Hamline and a win over then No. 4 Gustavus, the Yellowjackets have struggled to gain traction against the ranked teams from the WIAC, losing three times to Wisconsin-Eau Claire and once to River Falls. Two of the losses to Eau-Claire were by a goal. On Saturday, in the back half of a home-and-home series with No. 8 Wisconsin-River Falls, the Yellowjackets finally earned a win, edging the Falcons, 2-1. The Yellowjackets scored in the first, and the Falcons tied it in the second. At 12:53 of the third, Kaleigh Martinson scored what turned out to be the game-winner, and McKenzie Whalen made 15 saves in the third to preserve the win.

No. 2 Middlebury sweeps Colby
The Colby Mules have been a strong team this year, and they gave the No. 2 Panthers a tough test this weekend. On Friday. Middlebury blanked the Mules, 3-0, scoring a goal in each period. All of Middlebury’s goals were special teams’ strikes. including a power-play goal, a five-on-three power-play goal, and a four-on-four goal. On Saturday, Colby’s Bri Michaud-Nolan scored at 9:55 of the third to tie it 1-1, but the Panthers got a power-play goal at 14:06 from Maddie Bayard for the final margin. Lin Han made 24 saves for the Panthers in the win.