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2014-15 Stories of the Year (No. 3): Women's Hockey reaches NCHA Final

Photo by Lane Schwartz
Photo by Lane Schwartz

MEQUON, Wis. - The 2014-15 athletic year was another successful one for Concordia University Wisconsin. The Falcons had a multitude of wins, memorable moments and impressive performances en route to more championships and awards. The CUW Athletic Communications Department again tries to sort through all the great moments and give you, the fans, the top five stories from the year, as well as an honorable mention story.

The list of stories was compiled by both the Athletic Communications Department and a committee of coaches, and like all lists is subject to debate. The list of top stories will be revealed over the next six weeks with a story being released each Tuesday. The No. 1 story from the 2014-15 athletics season will be released July 21.

No. 3 Story of the Year

The Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Hockey team had a season to remember in 2014-15. The Falcons won 12 games, the second most in program history. They played their best hockey down the stretch, which culminated in an NCHA Slaats Cup Finals appearance, the first for the young program.

To reach the Slaats Cup Final, CUW opened its playoffs run with a 2-1 win at St. Scholastica on February 28. In that game, senior Sammi Reiter (Stillwater, Minn.) netted the game-winning goal with 15 seconds remaining, lifting the Falcons to the semifinals.

The semifinals are where the Falcons posted their biggest win in program history against No. 4 Adrian. The Bulldogs were hosting both the semifinals and finals after winning the NCHA regular season crown with a 15-0-3 record. CUW stunned Adrian with a 2-1 win behind a 41-save performance from sophomore Bridget Slater (Roseau, Minn.) and a game-winning score off the stick of sophomore Nicole Krumwiede (Itasca, Ill.)

In the finals the Falcons were stunned by a late Lake Forest goal with three seconds remaining in regulation. Slater was named the Slaats Cup Playoffs MVP for her efforts, which included a career-best 44 saves in the finals. Junior blueliner Chelsea Regan (Oakdale, Minn.) was named to the All-Tournament Team as well.

The year was also highly successful for the Falcons because of numerous records set, which included most goals in a season from senior Emily Heckendorf (Merrill, Wis.). They also gave up the fewest goals in a season in program history allowing just 65 scores in 28 games.

First-year head coach Steve Fabiilli took the Falcons program to new heights in 2014-15 with the Slaats Cup Final appearance as exciting times appear to be ahead for the Women's Hockey program at Concordia Wisconsin.