A year ago, they were just happy to be participating in the tournament while this year, Sault College’s women’s hockey team entered the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 national championship looking to win a title.
Sault College is a win away from that goal after a 3-0 victory over Dakota College in semi-final action on Sunday and will play for a national title Monday morning.
It was a game in which things were close through two periods, but Sault College took advantage of a pair of power play opportunities to break the scoreless tie en route to the victory.
After skating through 40-plus minutes of scoreless hockey, Sault College took advantage of a power plays early in the third period. Brooke Brazeau took a cross-crease pass back-door from Emma Lee and beat Dakota goaltender Kara Zelyck top open the scoring in the game.
Emily Moore made it a 2-0 game with another power play goal for Sault College. Just six seconds into the power play, Lee hit Moore with a pass in the slot and beat Zelyck from in close to extend the lead at 12:06.
Brazeau added some insurance with 3:03 to go in regulation time as she went to the net and converted a pass from Lee past Zelyck
Lee finished the day with three points thanks to a trio of assists in the victory while Brazeau and Moore had two points each for Sault College, Brazeau with a pair of goals and Moore with a goal and an assist.
Cassidy Dobson picked up the shutout for Sault College, her second consecutive shutout in the tournament after blanking the University of Delaware in pool play.
For Sault College, Sunday’s win was the third consecutive shutout for the team in the tournament. The team shut out Providence to wrap up pool play on Saturday afternoon.
With Sunday’s win, Sault College remains unbeaten this season with 30 consecutive wins.
Sault College will face Northeastern in Monday’s national championship game.
Northeastern, who entered the tournament as the fourth seed in their pool, went unbeaten in pool play before upsetting Assiniboine Community College in Sunday’s other semi-final game in double overtime.
Nicole Pollis was the hero, scoring 2:59 into the second overtime on a rebound after Elisabeth Clements had her initial shot stopped by Assiniboine goaltender Megan Beswitherick to give Northeastern a 2-1 victory.