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MU rebounds with sweep of Grand Valley State

By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer

Following its first defeat of the season in a 4-3 home loss to No. 12 Penn State University last Sunday, the No. 1 Miami University women's hockey team got back to its winning ways this weekend. The RedHawks downed Grand Valley State University 4-2 and 2-0 in CCWHA action. The two teams were well matched, as the RedHawks (20-1-1) averaged six goals per game while the Lakers (7-6-2) averaged 1.6 per game heading into the series.

"We played better on Friday, but overall we capitalized on some opportunities and played as one unit," head coach Scott Hicks said. "The line of [sophomore forward Cassidy] Guthrie, [sophomore forward Jordan] Hanson and [freshman forward Alyssa] Visalli played tremendous hockey for us this weekend. They were really clicking and gave us a lot of scoring opportunities."

In the first game, Miami took a 2-1 lead after one period as sophomore forward Rachael Booth tallied both goals in a three minute span. The 'Hawks continued to generate offense as freshman forward Carly Noble found the back of the net on the power play in the second and sophomore forward Katie Augustine scored in the third before the Lakers recorded another goal late.

In addition to the goals, junior defender Jessie Gould led the way with three assists and junior center Haley Williams accounted for two. Noble, Guthrie and sophomore forward Kaley Mooney each had an assist as well. Sophomore goaltender Emalee Wills had another great game, stopping 27 of 29 shots.

The Red and White capitalized on one of its three power plays, while they were outstanding on the penalty kill by limiting GVSU to one power play goal on six chances.

The RedHawks struck quickly in the second matchup as Hanson scored 16 seconds into the game off assists by Guthrie and Visalli. Mooney scored at the 17:20 mark of the third period with passes from Guthrie and freshman defender Nicole Matthews to round out the scoring.

Wills collected 17 saves on the night. Miami went 0-2 on the power play, although it held up on the penalty kill as the Lakers were unable to capitalize on their three power play opportunities.

"We played well this weekend," Wills said. "Our forwards were back-checking well and we had good effort defensively. We really came together this weekend, which will help us down the road."

The RedHawks return to Oxford at 4:45 p.m. Saturday Feb. 7 for its final home game of the regular season against Ohio State University before heading to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes noon Sunday,Feb. 8.

"Having a week off will be good for us," Hicks said. "Wills had a tremendous weekend as well. We have some big conference series left in the regular season and we'll be able to clinch the conference title, which is the first step for us."

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