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Honors pile up for state champ Fusion

St. Croix Valley Fusion teammates Alice Cranston, left, and Tanis Klingler celebrate a goal in the team's 5-2 victory over Green Bay East in the state championship game March 6 in Madison. Both players were named to the Wisconsin Girls Hockey All-State Team. Bob Burrows photo

The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team captured its biggest prize of the season earlier this month by winning its second straight state championship. Now it's time for the icing on the cake.

The Fusion collected a number of postseason awards last week, including Tanis Klingler being named Wisconsin Ms. Hockey, Alice Cranston honored as the Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year, and Matt Cranston picking up his third straight Wisconsin Girls' Hockey Coach of the Year award.

In all, six Fusion players were named to the All-BRC team, all-state team or both.

Klingler and Alice Cranston were both named to the All-State and All-BRC first teams while Tara Frey earned honorable mention to both the all-state and all-conference teams. Nikki Plunkett and Lily Cranston were named to the All-BRC second team while Hailey Rock joined Frey as All-BRC honorable mention.

Klingler, a senior at Baldwin-Woodville High School, earned the highest honor a player could receive be being named Wisconsin Ms. Hockey. The award is voted on by all head coaches in the state based on performance on the ice, academic achievement and role in the community.

"Tanis was a great leader; a two-year captain, a super hard worker and a great kid," Fusion coach Matt Cranston said. "I know her mom and dad are very proud of her and so am I. I will miss her so much."

Klingler, a defenseman with the Fusion, has been named to the All-BRC team three straight seasons, including the last two as a first team pick. She earned second team all-state honors last year before being named to the first team this season. She holds the WIAA State Tournament record for most assists in a game - five -- set in the 2009 Fusion state championship win over Fond du Lac. She finished tied for fourth on the team in scoring this season with 10 goals and 17 assists.

Off the ice, Klingler is a member of the National Honor Society and has received the President's Academic Award and was recently selected as valedictorian of her senior class at Baldwin-Woodville.

She has collected a total of 10 varsity letters in hockey, volleyball, softball, tennis and soccer and served as Miss Baldwin.

Alice Cranston was named to the all-state and all-conference first teams for the second straight season. The junior led the Fusion in scoring this season with 44 goals and 20 assists for 64 points.

Frey, a junior, was the Fusion's third leading scorer with 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points. She earned all-state honorable mention honors for the first time and all-conference honors for the second straight season.

Senior Lily Cranston earned a spot on the All-BRC team for the third straight season after scoring 15 goals and dishing out a team-high 21 assists. Her 36 total points were second only to younger sister Alice on the Fusion team.

Plunkett was named to the All-BRC second team for the second year in a row. The junior scored six goals and added 10 assists from her position on defense.

Rock, a sophomore earned All-BRC honorable mention for the second straight year. Her 16 goals were second highest on the team and she added 11 assists to finish with 27 points.

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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