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Fusion snap three-game skid

St. Croix Valley Fusion forward Sally Cranston (9) skates by a New Richmond defender in the Fusion's 5-1 victory over the Tigers last Thursday in New Richmond. Cranston scored a pair of goals in the win. <i>Dave Newman photo</i>

Sally Cranston scored two goals and sisters Emma and Miranda VanDell had a goal apiece as the St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over New Richmond Dec. 13 in New Richmond.

The Fusion, now 3-3 on the season, will visit Rochester John Marshall Thursday, Dec. 20, before competing in the Culvers Cup Dec. 27-29 in Madison.

Head coach Matt Cranston said the Fusion looked good in their win at New Richmond.

"I was happy with the performance of the girls tonight," he said. "The girls were able to execute some new systems and concepts that we have been working on in practice. Everyone got in the game and had a chance to play tonight."

Freshman Emma VanDell scored her first varsity goal at the 4:45 mark of the first period to give the Fusion a 1-0 lead. VanDell carried the puck up the boards past both benches and beat the Tiger goalie on the short side with a nice wrist shot. Andrea Eliason and McKayla Custer picked up assists.

Sally Cranston accounted for all the scoring in the second period, with assists from Maddie Rowe and Tori Forseth, to extend St. Croix Valley's lead to 3-0.

Miranda VanDell added a power play goal from Heather Shew at the 8:20 mark of the third to increase the Fusion lead to 4-0, before Lindsay Veenendall scored her first goal of the year about a minute later from Micha Bennett and Eliason to make it a 5-0 game.

The Tigers were able to sneak one by Fusion goalie Kalli Armagost late in the third period to spoil the shut out. Armagost finished with 25 saves as the Fusion outshot New Richmond, 32-26.

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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