LOUIS, Mo. – Midland University’s women’s hockey season came to a close over the weekend at the Women’s Midwest Collegiate Hockey (WMCH) League Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. The No. 9-ranked Warriors were the sixth-seed in the tournament that featured six nationally ranked teams in the ACHA Women’s Division 1 poll.
In their first game of the tournament they were pitted against No. 3-ranked and third-seeded Lindenwood University-Belleville. The two teams had faced each other multiple times earlier in the season with the Lynx taking four of the five contests. The Warriors won the last meeting in overtime prior to the postseason on the Lynx’s home ice.
After a period of scoreless hockey, Lindenwood-Belleville was able to control the puck in their attacking zone nearly the entire second period. That led to a large number of scoring chances, which they were successful on five occasions, once via the power play.
Trailing 5-0 after 40 minutes the Warriors were able to solidify their defense in the second intermission but couldn’t muster anything in their attacking zone. The Lynx would score one more goal in period to cap off a 6-0 win.
On Saturday the Warriors were back on the ice once more. This time competing against Minnesota in the fifth-place game of the WMCH tourney.
The No. 8-ranked Gophers, who won both games on their home ice in December, and the Warriors went back and forth in the first period. Both teams had a few chances but the defenses held true during the first 20 minutes of play.
Just over two minutes in to the second, Minnesota was able to get on the board first as they converted on a power play opportunity. Midland would respond at the 15:08 mark as Madison Hjelden was able to steal the puck off a rebound and buried it past the goalie on the right side.
Minnesota would respond less than a minute later though to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission and then extended their lead to two goals at the 9:51 mark of the third.
Playing with an empty net Midland registered a lot of shots over final four minutes of play. The Gophers stood tall though turning away nearly every attempt by the Warriors. At the 19:45 mark, with just 15 seconds to play Mylie Ketterson put Midland on the board once again as she scored on a rebound during a breakaway. Tieryn Arens had the initial shot on the left side and then Ketterson pushed the puck into the back of the net on the right side. That would be the final score of the contest as Minnesota won 3-2.
This season had its challenges for the Warriors as they played one of the toughest schedules in the ACHA. They had a stretch midway through the year where they played 16 straight games against top 10-ranked teams. To finish the year with a 17-15-1 record is a testament to their determination as ability to compete at a high-level. The programs continues to make improvements under head coach Jason White and his staff.