KALAMAZOO, Mich.--The Adrian College ACHA Division I women's hockey team took a huge step in their quest to secure a spot in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Final Four, scoring seven goals on Thursday afternoon to remain unbeaten in pool play with a 7-3 victory over the Rhode Island Rams here at Wings West Arena.
Led by a pair of goals by Nichole LaFlamme, the Bulldogs scored 7 times on 37 shots and received goals from six different players.
Rhode Island took an early 1-0 lead in the first period with and unassisted goal by Monica Darby, but the Bulldogs seized control of the contest in the final two minutes of the period with a pair of goals just 38 seconds apart.
Alicia Tait put Adrian on the board tying the game with a blast from just inside the blue line over the shoulder of Rams net minder Abigail Torres with 1:46 remaining in the period. Adrian then took a lead they would not relinquish when Kaillie Hardy found the puck during a goalmouth scramble and tucked it behind Torres to give Adrian a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
Adrian increased their lead in the 2nd period to 4-2, with the only goals of middle twenty minutes. First, Jessica Fabbro lead a Bulldog rush to the Rhode Island net and although Torres was able to stop Fabbro's initial effort, Laflamme was there to bang the rebound into an wide open net before the goal was knocked of the moorings by the trailing Rams defense. The goal was originally waived off by the referee, but was upheld after video review. Fabbro added another Bulldog marker just before the end of the period, firing a shot past Torres from the slot after a nice pass from Hardy.
Adrian made it 5 unanswered goals to start the third period on a goal from Lauren Hughes. The Bulldogs then saw their string of holding their opponents scoreless in 16 straight power play attempts snapped, as Brenna Callahan converted for Rhode Island with the player advantage after the Bulldogs were whistled for too many players on the ice.
LaFlamme quickly restored the Bulldogs four goal advantage, however, scoring her second of the game with assists from Marisa Sheppard and Fabbro. Rhode Island's leading scorer Sydney Collins then added another power play goal, her 29th of the season, to finish the scoring for Rams, while the game's last goal came off the stick of Adrian's Morgan Praska to make the final 7-3 Adrian.
Adrian outshot the Rams 37-31 as Bulldog goaltender Allison Dungey made 28 saves to earn her second win of the tournament.
The win improves the Bulldogs record to 21-6-1 this season but more importantly leaves Adrian with a 2-0 mark in pool play heading into tomorrow's final pool play game against Miami (Ohio) University, slated to face off at 2:15 Friday afternoon. Rhode Island falls to 16-12-3 and 0-2 in the tournament.
--David VanGeison, Special to AdrianBulldogs.com