The Adrian College women's ACHA Division I hockey team made a deep run in the 2014 CCWHA Tournament hosted at Flint Iceland Arena over the weekend. The Bulldogs were 2-2-1 during tournament play playing those five games over a grueling three-day period.
The tournament began with pool play and Adrian had three contests with the first one on Friday at 11:30 a.m. against Grand Valley State. The Bulldogs got on the board first in the first at 11:44 as Jessica Fabbro got the goal with Morgan Poole adding an assist. The Lakers would tie the game at 1:51 of the third as Kendra Myers netted an unassisted goal. The five-minute overtime period did not decide things as both teams skated to the 1-1 tie.
Friday evening was a 7:30 p.m. start against Ohio State University and the Buckeyes grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first as Melinda Vercollone notched an unassisted goal. The Bulldogs erupted in the second with four goals to take a 4-1 lead into the second intermission. Amanda Antos started the scoring at 15:44 with assists from Nichole Laflamme and Alicia Tait. Fabbro scored just 36 seconds later with Antos on the assist to give Adrian a 2-1 lead. Poole scored at 13:26 remaining in the period with Ashley Chinn on the assist. Jessica Rushing scored the fourth goal at 13:12 just 14 seconds after the Poole goal with Poole assisting on the fourth goal of the game. Tori Hogan scored with 27 seconds left in the third for Ohio State but it was too little too late as Adrian won 4-2.
On Saturday, Adrian squared off with Miami (Ohio) University at 11 a.m. and the top-seeded Redhawks won a tight 1-0 game. Miami scored at 7:08 of the first period and it held up as Miami outshot Adrian, 29-24, for the contest. Each team had just one power play opportunity in the game. MU's goal was scored by Izzy Smith with Morgan McGrath getting an assist. Emily Michelin made 28 saves in net for the Bulldogs.
Adrian advanced to the semifinals with three points out of pool play and won the right to advance because they allowed fewer goals than Grand Valley State who also had three points and tied the Bulldogs in their head-to-head matchup. Adrian played the University of Michigan at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night and won 4-2 over the Wolverines. The Bulldogs scored quick back-to-back goals in the first period at 8:27 and 8:16 to take a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Rushing scored the first goal with an assist from Poole and Laflamme scored on the power play unassisted. Laflamme made it 3-0 at 13:01 of the second from Rushing and Fabbro. Alexandra Godre gave Adrian a 4-0 lead at 12:42 from Summer Frey and Rebecca Hampton. Michigan scored twice in the second in the final 4:21 but Adrian slammed the door defensively in the third to preserve a spot in the final.
Adrian had a rematch with Miami on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for the CCWHA Championship. After a scoreless first, the Redhawks tallied a pair of goals in the second. Rachael Booth scored a power play goal at 2:16 and Nikki Stancampiano scored the back-breaker with just two seconds left in the period for a 2-0 lead. Adrian could not slip one past Miami goaltender Dana Lovin despite 15 shots on goal for the game. Michelin made 24 saves for the Bulldogs who ended 0-for-3 on the power play against the Redhawks.
"I am very proud of the team after a long weekend of hockey," said head coach Brett Berger. "The team played extremely hard and fought until the end against Miami in the final. I thought Emily Michelin did a great job in net and our defense in particular really stepped up this tournament. I can only hope we can continue our season in March at nationals. I feel like we have earned a spot."
Michelin was named to the All-Tournament First Team in net for the Bulldogs and she was also named First Team All-CCWHA this weekend. On defense, Hampton was named Second Team All-CCWHA this season and Antos was named All-Tournament Second Team. The Bulldogs will await word this week if they qualify for one of eight spots in the ACHA Women's Division I National Tournament to be held March 13-16 in Newark, Delaware by the University of Delaware.