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Girls hockey: Fusion get some revenge

St. Croix Valley Fusion senior Maddie Schultz (9) flips a backhander at the net in the third period of the Fusion's 4-3 victory over Superior Saturday, Jan. 6, at Wildcat Centre. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
St. Croix Valley Fusion junior captain Anna Albrightson (13) gets ready to fire a shot from the top of the circle in the third period of the Fusion's 4-3 victory over Superior Saturday, Jan. 6, at Wildcat Centre. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The fifth-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team dropped a 4-1 decision to second-ranked Eau Claire-Altoona on the road Thursday, Jan. 4, before getting some revenge against Superior at home Saturday, Jan. 6.

Superior had beaten the Fusion 5-4 in overtime the week before at the Culver's Cup in Madson, but St. Croix Valley jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the rematch at Wildcat Centre and held off a late Spartan surge for a 4-3 victory.

Last week's split gives the Fusion a record of 10-4-0 heading into a Big Rivers Conference showdown with top-ranked Hudson (12-1-0) this Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. at Wildcat Centre. They'll host Tartan/North St. Paul in a nonconference game Monday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at Wildcat Centre.

Last Thursday in Eau Claire, UW-River Falls recruit Abigail Stow scored three of the Stars four goals, two on power plays, to lead second-ranked Eau Claire/Altoona (12-1-0) to a 4-1 victory over the Fusion.

Stowe recorded a natural hat trick before Maddie Schultz scored St. Croix Valley's only goal, unassisted, 4:17 into the third period. Fusion goalie Sydney Seeley finished with 34 saves as the Stars outshot the Fusion, 38-19.

"Our girls played hard," Fusion coach Matt Cranston said. "The Stars have a lot of talent. Three of them have committed to play college hockey. If you liked watching Abigail Stow you will be able to in Hunt arena next year as she will be playing for my brother for the Falcons."

Saturday at home against Superior, Jordan Erickson scored the only goal of the first period, assisted by Mady Shew, to give St. Croix Valley a 1-0 lead.

Superior tied it up just 1:10 into the second period but the Fusion took a 2-1 lead when Kamryn Jacobs took a pass from Amber DeLong and scored an unassisted goal with 2:03 remaining in the period.

St. Croix Valley scored twice just over a minute apart midway through the third period to extend its lead to 4-1. Jacobs found the back of the net with an assist from Erickson at the 11:27 mark before Taylar Meier scored an unassisted goal at 12:39.

Superior cut the Fusion lead in half with 4:24 remaining and added a goal with an extra skater with 1:07 left but that's as close as they could get.

Seeley stopped 27 of the 30 shots she faced as St. Croix Valley outshot Superior, 43-30.

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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