The Wisconsin Selects used a pair of powerplay goals to defeat the Grand Rapids Griffins in their second game of the Tier II Nationals in West Chester, Philadelphia. Scoring once in each of the first two periods, the Selects improved to 2-0 in the tournament and will face the Northern Lights of Connecticut on Saturday at 4:40pm.
Unlike yesterday’s slow start, the Selects dominated play early and got a powerplay opportunity just 1:12 into the first period. Gab du Vair buried a rebound following some crisp puck movement and a shot from the high slot by Sami Federici. Tristan Wicklund assisted on the powerplay goal with a great set-up of Federici. With just over two minutes left in the period du Vair was whistled for roughing penalty putting the Griffins on a late powerplay. Selects goalie Chloe Lemke made a pair of late saves including a scramble that sent her back into her own net. Ella Chilson was sent to the box with nine seconds remaining. The periods ended with the Selects leading 1-0.
An early second period penalty on the Griffins set up some 4 on 4 play and an eventual Selects powerplay. Both teams struggled to generate quality scoring chances until late in the period when the Griffins took back-to-back penalties putting Wisconsin on a 5 on 3 powerplay. The Selects generated two good looks by Hannah Baumann on the two-man advantage, but could not score. With Abigail Hildebrand back on the ice and the period wanning, Federici took a perfect backdoor feed from Wicklund and buried it for a 2-0 lead and the second powerplay goal of the game for the Selects.
Wisconsin took that tenuous two goal into the final period. Just 48 seconds into the period du Vair got her second roughing penalty. Lemke rose to the occasion with two point blank blocker saves to keep the Griffins off the scoreboard. The reining Jesse Vetter Award winner shut the door finishing with 15 saves and a shutout. The Selects also finished with 15 shots on goal.
Head coach Emily Bauer said after the game, “I thought we played better today and our depth (four lines) was an advantage for us. Obviously, Chloe made a few big stops for us when we needed them.”
The two wins guarantees the Selects will play into Sunday after their face-off with the Northern Lights on Saturday.