Compiled by D3hockey.com staff --
The 2019 Women's Four is set and it's all Minnesota and New York as St. Thomas, Hamline, Plattsburgh State and Adrian have advanced to the season's final weekend.
In next weekend's semifinals, rivals will face off in both semifinals as it will be St. Thomas taking on Hamline in one and Plattsburgh State squaring off against Adrian in the other.
|St. Thomas is off to its first Frozen Four since 2014.
Photo: Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
This year's Frozen Four field boasts a total of six national championships, all of which come courtesy of Plattsburgh State. The Cardinals most recent title came in 2017 and capped off a run of four consecutive championships.
Plattsburgh State and Hamline will be making return trips after making the Frozen Four a year ago, while Adrian will be making its first appearance since 2017 and St. Thomas its first since 2014.
Here's how it happened:
ST. THOMAS 4, UW-EAU CLAIRE 3
The top-seeded Tommies received all they could handle from the Blugolds, but a pair of quick third period goals handed them the lead for good as they held on to advance.
A scoreless opening frame was marked by quality chances for both sides, though perhaps surprisingly it was Eau Claire that held a slight edge when it came to dictating the tempo as the Blugolds carried a 14-5 shot advantage in the opening 20, though was unable to find the back of the net despite having a pair of power play chances.
Things leveled out in the second period and it was St. Thomas that claimed a 1-0 lead when, at the 6:25 mark of the frame, a shot from out high that deflected through traffic found its way to Estee Frantz whose rebound chance found its way past Eau Claire netminder Kalli Engen.
The Blugolds knotted the game 1-1 at the 11:47 mark when, on the power play, Elizabeth Bauer got a good look while slashing down the right side and though St. Thomas' Mackenzie Torpy made the first save, Bauer grabbed her own rebound and put it in the back of the net. At the 18:01 mark it was again Eau Claire on the power play as Holly Turnbull worked a wrister from the high right point through traffic and past Torpy to hand the Blugolds their first lead of the game at 2-1.
Eau Claire appeared to extend its lead to 3-1 with another power play goal early in the third period, but after a lengthy discussion by the officials the goal was waived off. Following the no-goal, momentum quickly swung in the Tommies' favor and the notched goals by Sarah MOy at the 4:01 mark and Anna Erickson at the 5:32 mark to reclaim the lead, 3-2.
A St. Thomas empty-netter by Rachel Werdin with 29 seconds to play appeared to put the game on ice though Eau Claire's Courtney Wittig scored just 14 seconds later to make it a 4-3 game, but the Blugolds were unable to find another in the final 15 seconds and the Tommies were off to the Frozen Four.
Torpy finished with 29 saves to lead St. Thomas to the win, while Engen made 19 stops for Eau Claire. The Blugolds finished the afternoon 2-for-6 on the power play while the Tommies finished 0-for-2.
The win advances St. Thomas to its second Frozen Four and first since 2014. In their lone previous appearance the Tommies fell 1-0 to Plattsburgh State in the semifinals before dropping a 5-3 decision to UW-River Falls in the third-place game.
ADRIAN 3, ELMIRA 2 (OT)
It required bonus time but was finally settled with 2:24 remaining in the extra session when Adrian's Jessica VonRuden took advantage of lapse in the Elmira defense and scored to lift the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win and another trip to the Frozen Four.
This year's appearance will mark the second time Adrian has advanced to the Frozen Four. Its lone prior appearance came in 2017 when it topped Gustavus Adolphus, 3-2 in overtime, in the semifinals before falling to Plattsburgh State, 4-3 and also in overtime, in the national championship game.
Adrian jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, thanks to a power play goal by Kortney Diaz at the 3:35 mark and followed by VonRuden at even-strength at 15:31.
Elmira answered back on the power play at the 12:22 mark of the second period when a Kristen Chivers wrister from the top of the right circle deflected off Adrian netminder Denisa Jandová and in, and then again at 19:34 when, also on the power play, Maddy Jerolman curled in from the left win and beat Jandová clean with a shot from the left slot.
The third period rolled by scoreless and things remain knotted 2-2 at the end of regulation despite the fact Elmira had rolled up a 37-15 shot through the game's first 60 minutes.
Things balanced out in the overtime as Elmira posted 15 shots to Adrian's 13, and it was VonRuden's second of the afternoon that was the first to find the back of the net and lift Adrian to the win.
Jandová finished with 50 saves for Adrian, who also received a major contribution from Maggie Mitter who assisted on all three Bulldog goals. Stephanie Marin made 25 saves for Elmira.
PLATTSBURGH STATE 5, WILLIAMS 3
After taking down Norwich in the first round on Wednesday night, Williams made the trek to Plattsburgh to attempt to slay a second beast of the East and things got off to a great start for the Ephs when Meghan Halloran scored just 19 seconds into the game to hand them a 1-0 lead that held up through the first period.
Plattsburgh answered back with goals by Madison Walker and Holly Schmelzer at the 3:08 and 4:28 marks of the second period, respectively, but the Cardinals had a difficult time shaking the Ephs as Halloran tallied on the power play to make it a 2-2 game with 3:59 remaining in the period. Plattsburgh reclaimed the lead just 59 seconds later thanks to a goal by Mackenzie Millen and led just 3-2 after two despite rolling up a 31-13 shot advantage.
Williams fought back again in the third and once again drew things level, this time with an Abby Brustad goal at the 8:01 mark, but back-to-back Plattsburgh goals at 12:41 and 12:49 by Nichole Unsworth and Millen proved too much for the Ephs to overcome and it went in the books as a 5-3 win for the Cardinals.
The win advances Plattsburgh to its 13th Frozen Four, the most all-time of any women's Division III team.
HAMLINE 5, UW-RIVER FALLS 1
Hamline scored once in the first and twice each in the second and third as it pulled away from UW-River Falls in front of an impressive crowd of 1,587. The win advances the Pipers to their second consecutive and second overall Frozen Four.
The Pipers grabbed the lead at the 17:57 mark of the first when Molly Garin snuck a sharp-angle transition chance past River Falls' goaltender Sami Miller. A Bre Simon shorthanded goal at 5:15 of the second period ran the lead to 2-0, which was extened to 3-0 when Garin struck again at 14:47, this time on the power play.
River Falls cut into the deficit with Bella Wagner power play goal with 14 seconds remaining in the second, but Hamline scored twice more on the power play in the third, the first by Jordan Hansen and the second by Garin to round out her hat trick, to put the game away.
Special teams proved crucial on the afternoon as Hamline converted three of its five chances with the extra skater while River Falls was just 1-for-6 with the advantage. Jaela O'Brien made 25 saves to get the win in goal for the Pipers while Miller finished with 30 stops for the Falcons.