KALAMAZOO, Mich.--The Adrian College Division I women's hockey team completed a sweep of their Pool B opponents on Friday with a 4-3 win over the Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks at Wings West Arena, to grab the top seed in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Final Four at the national tournament.
The Bulldogs will now face the loser of Friday night's game between Liberty University and Grand Valley State University in the National Semi-Final at 4:15 on Saturday at Wings West in Kalamazoo. The National Championship game will be played on Sunday at 2:30.
Miami opened the scoring in the first period just over seven minutes in on a goal by Kaley Mooney, but the Bulldogs countered less than two minutes later on a goal by Nicole Paradis, set up neatly in front of the net by Alicia Tait and Jessie Rushing.
Adrian seized control of the contest in period number two, scoring three times including a pair of power play goals, benefiting from a 5 on 3 situation. Lauren Hughes gave Adrian the lead at 2-1 scoring at the 9:27 mark, with assists from Kirsten LaBelle and Jessica Fabbro. After Miami saw Mooney sent to the box for tripping and Nicole Matthews penalized for delay of the game, the Bulldogs power play went to work to score twice before the penalties were over.
Adrian took advantage of the 5 on 3 situation as Tait and Rushing to set up Summer Frey for a beautiful backhander into the Red Hawk net to make the score 3-1. Then, still with a 5 on 4 advantage, Nichole LaFlamme took a pass from Kallie Hardy beat Miami goaltender Emalee Wills for what would be the eventual game winner game and give the Bulldogs led 4-1 after two periods.
The Red Hawks would not go quietly, however, scoring twice in the final period to make the final moments uncomfortable for the Bulldog faithful. Rachel Booth made the score 4-2 with 6:15 remaining and Mooney scored her second goal of the day to cut the Bulldog advantage to one with a goal just 43 seconds later.
The Adrian defense, led by goaltender Alison Dungey, then regrouped to keep the Red Hawks scoreless the rest of the way to preserve the win. Dungey made several key saves down the stretch, as the Bulldogs killed off a Miami power play in the final five minutes and withstood about a two minute stretch where Miami had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. Dungey finished with 13 saves on the day while registering her third win of the tournament. Wills had 19 stops for Miami in a losing effort.
The victory improves Adrian's record to 23-6-1 on the year. With their 2-1 record in pool play Miami (23-5-1) will play in the first national semi-final against the winner of the Liberty-Grand Valley contest on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
--David VanGeison, Special to AdrianBulldogs.com