MEQUON, Wis. – All it took was a return to the Ozaukee Ice Center. The Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Hockey made the most of just it second home series since January 4, capping off a weekend sweep of Marian University with a 5-2 win Saturday in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association play.
Home ice has been important to the Falcons this season as they are 6-5-1 in those contests. The Saturday win also was Senior Day as the Falcons honored its lone senior, forward Maxine Blohowiak (Green Bay, Wis.)
The Falcons offense was in dominant form as the five goals tied the second-highest total this season, the other time also coming against the Sabres in November. Sophomore Alexis Machuga (Rochester Hills, Mich.) had two of those goals, including the game-winner at the 1:36 mark of the third period.
CUW also got another strong start from freshman Bridget Slater (Roseau, Minn.) between the pipes as she gained her second career win. Slater made both starts this weekend and is now 2-0-0 on the season.
CUW (8-14-1, 6-9-1 NCHA) got the scoring started early as Machuga scored on a breakaway 2:51 into play. Freshman Veronika Metanova (Palatine, Ill.) and junior Chelsea Regan (Oakdale, Minn.) assisted on the game's opening score. Marian, who had both goals come on a 5-on-3 advantage, would even things up before the first intermission as Brittany Syms scored with just 40 seconds left in the first period.
The only scoring of the second 20 minutes came off the stick of freshman Brandi Muller (Anchorage, Alaska) who scored off assists from junior Samantha Reiter (Stillwater, Minn.) and Machuga. Machuga's three points were a new career-high, as were the two goals.
The Falcon offense would take off in the third period, scoring three times en route to the 5-2 win. Machuga's game-winner started the scoring as she deflected a Brittany Sticha (Lonsdale, Minn.) shot in. Freshman Laine Tomesch (Mequon, Wis.) then netted her second goal of the season, scoring on the power play off assists from juniors Elizabeth Otto (Stillwater, Minn.) and Emily Heckendorf (Merrill, Wis.).
Marian (5-16-1, 4-12-0 NCHA) would attempt a comeback bid with another 5-on-3 score but Sticha made sure any hopes of that ended quickly, sniping a goal to give the Falcons a 5-2 win. Muller assisted on the Sticha score, both players picking up their second point of the game.
Slater made a career-high 25 saves for the Falcons in the win. Maddy Dixon made her first appearance of the season for Marian and stopped 19 shots. With the win, CUW improved to 11-0-0 all-time against the Sabres and clinched the fifth seed in the Slaats Cup Playoffs, scheduled to begin in two weeks.
The Falcons will conclude the regular season portion of their schedule next weekend with two home games, beginning with a Friday night affair against Lake Forest College. Puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. at the Ozaukee Ice Center.