Bulldogs Blank Green Knights to Advance to Slaats Cup Championship

Senior Kortney Diaz led the Bulldogs with three points in Adrian's 5-0 win over St. Norbert in game two of the Slaats Cup Quarterfinals (Photo by Patrick Stewart).
Senior Kortney Diaz led the Bulldogs with three points in Adrian's 5-0 win over St. Norbert in game two of the Slaats Cup Quarterfinals (Photo by Patrick Stewart).

ADRIAN, Mich. – The top-seeded Adrian College women's hockey team completed the sweep of St. Norbert College in the Slaats Cup Quarterfinals, shutting out the Green Knights 5-0 in game two of the series on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Bulldogs' defense was impeccable in the first period, holding SNC without a shot on goal for the first 20 minutes. AC has now punched its ticket to the Slaats Cup Championship and awaits the winner of the semifinal game, which will also be played at Arrington Ice Arena, on the campus of Adrian College.

THE BASICS

Final Score: #1 Adrian 5, #6 St. Norbert 0

Location: Adrian, Mich. (Arrington Ice Arena)

Records: Adrian 21-4-2 (15-1-2 NCHA), St. Norbert 7-17-3 (6-9-3 NCHA)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Adrian opened the scoring 9:33 into the game when senior forward Kortney Diaz put one five-hole on the goalie. Classmate Hannah Dalrymple poked the puck off a St. Norbert player's stick on the forecheck and sophomore linemate Brooke Schembri picked it up. Schembri found Diaz in the slot for the shot. It didn't look like Diaz got all of it, or as much as she wanted, but the off-speed shot fooled the goaltender and crossed the goal line for the score.

The Bulldogs doubled their lead 53 seconds later when freshman forward Jessica VonRuden scored on a breakaway. Freshman defenseman Jessica Anderson wrapped the puck around the net where junior forward Taylor Henthorne was able to chip it ahead to VonRuden on the breakout. VonRuden sped past the last Green Knights defender and made a nice toe drag on the goalie to make it 2-0 AC, which would stand until the third.

Adrian was all over St. Norbert in the first, outshooting the Green Knights 20-0 in the opening period. It's the first time the Black and Gold have held their opponents without a shot in a period since Feb. 3, 2018 last season. Adrian outshot Concordia-Wisconsin 19-0 in the third period of a 5-1 Bulldog victory.

After a very timid second period for both teams that saw zero goals on 10 combined shots (five each), Adrian got back on the scoresheet 2:45 into the final frame. Sophomore forward Neysa Miller controlled the puck in the offensive zone and found freshman defenseman Julia Barrett at the point. Barrett took a shot on goal that junior forward Maggie Mitter was able to get her stick on and redirect from right in front of the net to make it 3-0.

Over 12 minutes passed until the next goal, but Schembri got a goal of her own with five minutes left to extend the lead to 4-0. It was another deflection, as Schembri got her stick on a shot from junior blueliner Rylee Bates. Diaz came up the ice from behind the St. Norbert net and found Bates at the point. Bates kept her shot on the ice and Schembri was able to deflect it through the goalie's five-hole for the goal.

The Bulldogs got one more for good measure with 1:35 remaining, when junior forward Jacqueline White netted her fourth goal of the weekend and sixth point with a power play goal to make it 5-0. Senior captain Tory Harshman send Diaz the puck down low and Diaz charged the net to try and stuff it home. A scramble started in the goalmouth and the puck squirted free and White was able to get her stick on it and send it back into the pile and into the back of the net.

Adrian picked up its 10th shutout of the year, and freshman goaltender Denisa Jandova picked up her fifth. The team's 10 shutout puts this year tied for second all-time with the 2016-17 season for most shutouts in a season, and Jandova is now tied for fifth all-time for shutouts in a season. Jandova's play has been stellar this season as she currently leads the nation with a 0.69 GAA. Her SV% of .959 is second best in Division III. As a team, the Bulldogs are sixth in scoring defense, conceding only 1.30 goals per game. The Bulldogs' penalty kill has also been a key part of Adrian's game. AC currently has the second-best penalty kill in the country, with a 93.1% and six shorthanded goals for, tied for second-most.

By virtue of being the top seed in the Slaats Cup Playoffs, the Bulldogs are now in the championship game on Sunday. They will face the winner of St. Scholastica and Lake Forest in the semifinal. AC is looking for its fourth consecutive Slaats Cup and automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The committee will be using the PairWise rankings to determine the at-large bids for the first time this year, mimicking what happens at the Division I level. Adrian is currently tied for sixth in the PairWise, putting the Black and Gold in a good spot heading into the championship weekend.

TOP DOGS

• Diaz, VonRuden, Mitter, Schembri, and White scored for the Bulldogs.

• Schembri, Dalrymple, Henthorne, Anderson, Barrett, Miller, Bates, Diaz and Harshman all tallied assists. Diaz picked up two for a game-high three points.

• Jandova stopped all 11 shots she faced for the shutout.

THE OPPOSITION

• Kelli Sorge and Libbie Doney were the only St. Norbert players to take multiple shots on goal.

• Anais Aurard made 39 saves in the loss.

UP NEXT

Adrian will host the Slaats Cup Semifinal and Finals next weekend. No. 2-seed St. Scholastica will play No. 3-seed Lake Forest in the semifinal game Friday, March 1, with the winner facing Adrian for a chance at the Slaats Cup and an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 3.

#GoBulldogs | #TheHustle

 

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