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Fusion stay perfect in BRC

St. Croix Valley Fusion junior Alice Cranston of River Falls has scored nine goals in the last three games, including back-to-back hat tricks in a pair of victories last week. Bob Burrows photo

The top-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team outscored its Big Rivers Conference opponents 12-3 in pair of wins last week, including a 5-2 victory over the sixth-ranked Eau Claire Area Stars Friday night in Eau Claire.

Saturday afternoon Fusion co-captain Alice Cranston tallied her third straight hat trick in a 7-1 victory over Menomonie.

The Fusion, now 14-2-1 overall, 5-0-0 in the BRC, headed west across the St. Croix River for a game against Breck, the No. 2 ranked Class A team in Minnesota, Tuesday night. They will host Eau Claire in a rematch of last Friday's game on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., at the United Center in Baldwin.

Last week Alice Cranston netted back-to-back hat tricks to give her nine goals in the last three games.

Cranston had three goals and Tara Frey scored two in the Fusion's 5-2 victory at Eau Claire Friday night.

Cranston scored twice in the first period to give St. Croix Valley a 2-1 lead after one. Frey's first goal of the game 36 seconds into the second period extended the lead to 3-1 but Eau Claire scored to make it a one-goal game again, 3-2, after two.

Cranston completed her hat trick with a short-handed breakaway goal at the 5:31 mark of the third before Frey's second goal less than two minutes later made the final 5-2.

Tanis Klingler had three assists and Heather Shew two while Heidi Van Dell, Lily Cranston and Tori Klingler had one assist each. Kalli Armagost stopped 16 of the 18 shots she faced, including two breakaways, as the Fusion outshot the Stars 39-18.

"We beat a good team tonight," Fusion coach Matt Cranston said. "They have a bunch of girls that can fly and have good goaltending."

Saturday afternoon at Wildcat Centre, Lily Cranston notched her third straight hat trick and Frey scored twice for the second game in a row in a 7-1 Fusion victory. Hailey Rock and Tori Klingler also scored in the win while Frey, Rock, Tanis Klingler, Tori Klingler, Van Dell and Darcy Behringer picked up assists.

St. Croix Valley led 3-1 after one and 5-1 after two.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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