Friday, March 19, 2010

D3 women's Frozen Four begins today

The Gustavus women's hockey team will take on top-ranked and defending national champion Amherst at 7 p.m. Friday at the Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter in the second game of the NCAA Division III women's hockey semifinals. In the first game at 3:30 p.m., Norwich will play Elmira.

The Free Press has a preview of the tournament, including a feature on the Gusties' Lindsey Hjelm, a freshman who is the daughter of a Gustavus men's All-American who also made it to the national semifinals. Of course, she wears the same number as he did nearly 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, two Gustavus players were named All-Americans on Thursday: Senior forward Melissa Mackley and junior defender Kristin Peterson received the honor for the second year in a row. Mackley, is the Gusties' captain and the team' second leading scorer with 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points this season, while Peterson anchored a stellar defense (1.18 goals allowed per game) and ranked sixth in the country among defensemen with 24 points.

In a season preview on the Gusties in November, Mackely talked about getting to the Frozen Four. Gustavus is making its fourth trip there but its first since the season before she arrived.

"It's our ultimate goal every year," she said. "Every year since I was a freshman, it feels like we've been knocking on the door. I want to get to the Frozen Four and make a run to the national championship. The sky's the limit for this team."

(Free Press photo by Pat Christman)

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