Women’s hockey loses to River Falls 5-2

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An open-net goal capped a 5-2 Wisconsin-River Falls victory, as the St. Thomas women’s hockey team (9-8-2 overall) fell to the No. 2 Falcons Wednesday evening at home.

The Tommies got things going first, scoring two first-period goals, but could not keep the Falcons in check defensively.

“They definitely got too many goals,” junior defender Meghan Parker said. “We need to work on that.”

The Falcons controlled the puck in the first period, outshooting the Tommies 29-19. The Tommies made it count when the puck was in their possession, though, with Parker scoring the first goal of the game off the power play and junior Jamie Tiede following with a second power-play goal later in the game.

Shooting accuracy has been a focus throughout the year after the team struggled with scoring the previous season, and the Tommies made the most of their chances in the first period.

“We’d always outshoot a team, but we’d never score, so this year, we tell everyone in practice, ‘Shoot to score,’” Tiede said. “Make it count every time you’re out there so in games when you have a chance you’ll put it away.”

After trailing 2-0 for almost two periods, the unbeaten Falcons scored two goals in a three-minute span in the second period. River Falls continued to find the net in the third, scoring three more goals to put the Tommies out of reach.

“At that point, we’re just not necessarily obviously trying to score and get back in the game,” coach Tom Palkowski said. “It’s more trying to work on things for games down the road.”

Reflecting on the loss, Parker noted the skill River Falls brought to the ice.

“They are all so fast and good,” she said. “They all play really good together.”

With key conference match-ups approaching, Palkowski said he hopes to see improvement in the defensive zone.

“We’re not scoring a lot of goals, we know that,” he said. “We need to be able to hold the other team to two [goals] or less. That’s what we’re looking to accomplish.”

St. Thomas plays Bethel at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at home.

Rachel Britton can be reached at brit7192@stthomas.edu.