By Trent Jackson, Gustavus Adolphus College
ADRIAN, Mich. -- The Gustavus women's hockey team is set for the 2016-17 NCAA Division III Championship semifinals this weekend in Adrian, Mich., hosted by Adrian College. The Gusties will take on Adrian College Friday evening with the winner moving on to the championship game versus Plattsburgh State or Norwich University at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. Central) Saturday, while the loser will play in a third place game at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. Central).
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Ticket Information: Tickets will be sold one hour before each game in the Arrington Ice Arena lobby. The cost is $8 for stadium-seating, $5 standing room, $5 student with valid college ID, $5 child (<12 years) and child (<2 years) free with paying adult. There is no advanced pre-sale available.
Last Time Out: Last Friday, Gustavus scored twice on the power play en route to defeating the University of Wisconsin-River Falls by a score of 3-2 in a NCAA Tournament first round matchup in River Falls, Wis. RECAP
Gusties Collect Postseason Awards: The Gusties had a strong showing in the 2017 MIAC Women's Hockey Awards. Head Coach Mike Carroll was selected as the Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his 18-year career, highlighting the announcement. Three Gusties earned spots on the All-Conference Team in Amanda DiNella (So., Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.), Kaitlyn Klein (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.), and Erica Power (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.). In addition, Emily Gustafson (Sr., Esko, Minn.), Laura Johnson (Jr., Chanhassen, Minn.) and Allie Lewis (Sr., Kearney, Neb.) were honorable mention honorees while Diana Draayer (Jr., Deephaven, Minn.) was named to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
Series Snapshot: Gustavus holds a 1-2 overall record against Adrian, 0-2 against Norwich, and 1-4-1 against Plattsburgh State. See page 5 of NOTES for full details.
Gustavus NCAA Tournament History: The Gusties will be making their 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in the program's 20-year history, earning an at-large bid as the MIAC regular season champions. In 11 total NCAA Tournament appearances, Gustavus owns an 8-15 overall record, one second place finish and two third place titles along with seven semifinal appearances. This year's postseason appearance marks the first time the Black and Gold has made a NCAA tournament berth since the 2012-13 season, in which the Gusties earned a quarterfinal victory before falling in the semifinals and the third place game to post a fourth place finish.
DiNella Denies: In her second season as the Gusties' No. 1 goalie, Amanda DiNella has turned into a premier netminder among Division III counterparts. This season DiNella has played in 20 games with 17 starts (13-3-2), logging 1107:28 in net with a 1.08 goals against average and .943 save percentage. DiNella's 1.08 GAA is lowest in the nation, while her save percentage is 13th best in Division III. The Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Native has posted eight shutouts this season, which are most in the country and second most in a season in program history.
Comeback Kid: Last season, forward Kaitlyn Klein suffered a broken neck after sliding headfirst into the boards during a game vs. Plattsburgh State in Middlebury, Vt. After the injury, her hockey-playing career was in serious doubt, but she has since put all those questions to bed. This season, Klein has played in all 27 games, leads the team with 11 goals and is second in points with 19. Her seven game-winning goals lead the team and rank third in the nation. She also has a team-best six power play goals and a +10 rating.