Tuesday night was all but one of the state's sectional semifinal games in both boys and girls hockey across the state of Wisconsin.
In girls hockey, the ECA Stars won 1-0 over the Hayward Hurricanes, and the top-seeded stars will face #3 Hudson, winners over the #2 St. Croix Valley Fusion 6-1, in the Sectional 1 final. Over in Sectional 2, it went chalk as the top-seeded Central Wisconsin Storm moved past #4 Northland Pines 7-1, and the Storm will face the #2 Fox Cities Stars, winners over the #3 Bay Area Ice Bears 5-1.
Sectional 3 saw the #1 Metro Lynx roll past #4 Black River Falls 7-1, while #2 Cap City Cougars trounced the #6 Stoughton Icebergs 6-1. The third meeting between the Lynx and Cougars will be on Friday. Finally, in Sectional 4, both #1 Rock County and #2 Fond du Lac got 1-0 wins over their respective opponents, #4 University School and #3 Arrowhead. You can read more about the Rock County win below.
Boys hockey, Division 2, will see these four quarterfinal match-ups: #4 Rice Lake vs. #2 Hayward; #1 Northland Pines vs. #3 Mosinee; #5 Menomonie vs #3. Somerset; and #1 St. Mary's Springs vs. #2 Waupun. No Madison-area teams advanced to sectional finals.
In Division 1, #1 Hudson and #3 Chippewa Falls routed their respective opponents and will meet Saturday for a trip to state. #1 Notre Dame will square off with upstart #7 Beaver Dam in Sectional 2. #1 Verona meets #2 Edgewood Saturday night with a trip to state on the line, and in Sectional 4, #1 Arrowhead stays undefeated and plays #2 University School.
You can see the full results by clicking here.
Olivia Cronin has 31-save shutout in Fury win over USM
In what many expected to be a low-scoring game between two top-notch sophomore netminders, it was the Rock County Fury who got the early edge and held on for a 1-0 win over the University School of Milwaukee Wildcats on Tuesday night at Janesville Ice Arena.
Anika Einbeck weaved through traffic from her own blue line to light the lamp unassisted just 4:49 into the game to give the Fury an early 1-0 lead, and it would be the only scoring in a game that featured two dominant performances by each team's goaltender.
Sami Stommel took the loss for University School, but not before recording 27 saves and fending off blast after blast from the powerful first line of the Fury, who had combined for 70 goals coming into the game in 24 games played. A stifling, physical defense also helped USM stay even for the majority of the contest.
On the other side of the rink, it was Olivia Cronin who carried the water for the Fury, turning away 31 shots in a shutout performance that sent Rock County along in the postseason.
Most notable of Cronin's saves perhaps were the two point-blank two-on-none saves made in the third period, as the Wildcats made their furious rally with 12 shots on goal in the final frame. Cronin also helped turn away two power play opportunities by USM in the first and second periods, as the Wildcats out-shot Rock County in the game 31-28 overall.
Next up, the Fury will take on the Fond du Lac Warbirds at BlueLine Ice in Fond du Lac on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. With a win, the Fury would make it back to state for the first time in four years.
4:49 1P: A. Einbeck (RCF) unassisted | 1-0 RCF
11:45 1P: S. Loerke (RCF) Hooking 2:00
8:02 2P: A. Einbeck (RCF) Checking 2:00
0:36 3P: Z. Uihlein (USM) Hooking 2:00
O. Cronin (RCF): 31 on 31 shots (0 GA)
S. Stommel (USM: 27 on 28 shots (1 GA)
POWER PLAY: Rock County 0-1, University School 0-2
SHOTS ON GOAL: Rock County 28, University School 31