In an exciting series that went the full three games for the WIAC Championship and the O'Brien Cup, the trophy once again came home with the Falcons of UW-River Falls after a 2-1 victory over the Blugolds of UW-Eau Claire on the road.
The first period showed off both the impenetrable defense and the smooth scoring offense for the Falcons. The Falcons had six shots on goal for the period, but nothing was better then a power-play goal by freshman Alex Hantge at 14:21. Hantge was assisted on her goal by none other then Callie Hoff and Abigail Stow. Hantge's goal was the only score of the period and allowed the Falcons to carry a 1-0 lead going into the second period.
The second period brought a much more aggressive Blugolds team. The Falcons were out shot 7-3 during the period, but the Falcons held their own. Freshman Pistol Cowden was stead in goal for the Falcons, not allowing any goals in the second and sending UW-RF into the third and final period up a goal.
Going into the third period, the Falcons were looking to extend their lead. However, the Blugolds had other plans. Eden Gruber of UW-EC was able to find some space amd slip one past early in the third at the 3:45 mark to tie things up.
With things knotted up and the title on the line, both teams were forced to be at their best on the forecheck and backcheck, but neither team was able to find the net and overtime looked imminent.
Then, just when all hope for a winner in regulation was lost, the consistent, steady force known as Callie Hoff solidified the win for the Falcons after some phenomenal teamwork by Holly Eckers and Hantge to get her the puck to score at 18:37, her 71st career goal but, perhaps, her biggest and most important.
Cowden and the rest of the Falcons held down the fort over the last minute and change as UW-RF claimed the O'Brien Cup for an unprecedented sixth time and second season in a row.
The Falcons conclude their season with the win as no winter sports championships will be held at the NCAA level due to COVID-19. UW-RF finishes at 10-2 and look to have all the makings of a national champion contender in 2021-22.