Fusion hockey team falls at state

MADISON — The St. Croix Valley Fusion Girls’ Hockey team, which includes three local players, lost a heartbreaking overtime game in the 2014 WIAA Girls’ State Hockey semifinals held March 7 at the Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum-Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

The Fusion held a 3-0 lead entering the third period against the Onalaska Co-op team but surrendered three goals in that final 20-minute period of regulation that allowed the Hilltoppers to knot the contest and force an overtime.

Onalaska completed the comeback just 4:02 into the overtime period when Chazlyn Anderson scored her second goal of the game to give the Hilltoppers the 4-3 state semifinal win. Anderson also scored the game-tying goal in the third period.

Glenwood City’s Nikki and Natalie Gabbert and Rachal Anderson of Boyceville are members of the St. Croix Valley Fusion.

Freshman Natalie Gabbert had a hand in the Fusion’s first goal as she was credited with the assist on teammate Maddie Rowe’s goal at 14:59. That gave St. Croix Valley a 1-0 advantage which they carried into the second period.

The Fusion added two goals in the second.

Rowe scored her and the Fusion’s second goal of the game at 4:42 of the middle stanza. St. Croix Valley then took a three-goal lead midway through the second period when Andrea Eliason found the net with a shot at 10:37.

But Onalaska scored three goals in a six-minute span of the third period to knot the score at three all.

Theresa Knutson broke the Hilltoppers’ scoring drought with a goal at 6:39. Jacyn Reeves slapped in a score at the 11:30. Chazlyn Anderson got the equalizer just 38 seconds later as Onalaska pulled even with St. Croix Valley.

It remained tied until Anderson knocked in the game winner in the overtime period to send the Hilltoppers into the state championship. The Hilltoppers fell 6-5 the following day to the Green Bay East Co-op.

Both Nikki and Natalie Gabbert and Rachal Anderson will return to the St. Croix Valley team next season. Nikki Gabbert and Anderson are both juniors.

The Fusion features players from Baldwin-Woodville, Boyceville, Glenwood City, River Falls and St. Croix Central High Schools.