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Fusion burn Spartans to advance

St. Croix Valley Fusion freshman Jaden Woiwode (11) gets off a backhander in front of two Superior defenders in the Fusion's 8-1 victory over the Spartans in a WIAA Section 1 girls hockey regional final Thursday, Feb. 15, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
St. Croix Valley Fusion goalie Sydney Seeley stops Hudson's Alee Milinkovich-Gray (10) on a wrap-around attempt in the first period of the Fusion's 8-1 victory over the Spartans in a WIAA Section 1 girls hockey regional final Thursday, Feb. 15, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The St. Croix Valley Fusion scored four goals in the third period to pull away from Superior and post an 8-1 victory over the Spartans in a WIAA Section 1 girls hockey regional final Thursday, Feb. 15, in River Falls.

Kamryn Jacobs had two goals and an assist and Anna Albrightson, Maddy Shew and Gabby Bresina had a goal and assist each as the third-seeded Fusion moved on to face No. 2 Eau Claire Area in a sectional semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Eau Claire.

The Fusion wasted no time Thursday night against Superior, scoring two goals in the first four minutes of the game, beginning with Amber DeLong's goal from Albrightson two minutes in. Kamryn Meier scored two minutes later with an assist from Bresina but the Spartans answered just 37 seconds later to cut the Fusion lead in half.

After killing off a 5-on-3 Spartan advantage that lasted over a minute midway through the period, Shew extended St. Croix Valley's lead to 3-1 at the 14:12 mark with assists from Maddie Schultz and Jacobs.

Jacobs scored a shorthanded goal midway through the second period with Shew assisting to extend the Fusion lead to 4-1 before the floodgates opened in the third.

Albrightson started the spree with an unassisted shorthanded goal 4:36 in and Abbie DeLong scored at the 10:23 mark, assisted by Lilly Acolla. Jacobs' second goal of the game just 1:13 later was assisted by Schultz and Madi Harer, before Bresina made the final 8-1 with an unassisted goal with 37 seconds remaining.

St. Croix Valley goalie Sydney Seeley finished with 15 saves as the Fusion outshot the Spartans, 38-16.

Tuesday's sectional semifinal in Eau Claire was not completed at press time. The other semifinal featured top-seeded Hudson hosting No. 4 Hayward. The Raiders received a bye in the regional round while Hayward advanced with a 1-0 double overtime victory over the Western Wisconsin Stars (Somerset/New Richmond co-op). The WIAA sectional championship game is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24, in Hudson.

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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