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Eric Peterson, Published February 28 2014

Cobbers score overtime win in MIAC women's hockey playoffs

MOORHEAD – Libby Fransdal decided to fire the puck on net, and that translated into playoff success for Concordia.

The junior defenseman scored the overtime winner on shot from the blue line. Fransdal’s goal lifted the Cobbers to a 2-1 victory Friday against St. Catherine in the first round of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s hockey tournament.

“I decided, let’s try throwing it at the net once, and it worked out for us,” said Fransdal, who had dumped the puck deeper into the zone during similar situations earlier in the game.

“Lib, she’s been using her shot more and more each game and it’s been getting better and better,” added Concordia head coach Sarah Erickson.

The Cobbers (13-9-4) play at No. 1 seed St. Thomas at 2 p.m. today in the MIAC semifinals. Concordia has an 11-1-1 record in its past 13 games.

“We have nothing to lose,” said Fransdal, who has two goals this season. “We’re going in as the underdogs and I’m kind of happy for that. I think our team plays better when we know we have adversity against us.”

Fransdal’s game-winner gave the Cobbers their only lead against St. Catherine. The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after junior Bailey Rasmussen scored on the power play at 8 minutes, 55 seconds of the second period.

“At the start of the game we weren’t good enough to win the game,” Erickson said. “I think it’s a huge lesson for us this game. You can’t come out flat footed.”

Minutes later, Concordia started to gain traction after freshman forward Amber Schaack scored a power-play goal at the 13:22 mark of the second.

Schaack’s goal tied the game at 1-1 and capped the scoring until overtime.

On the game-winning goal, St. Catherine was unable to clear the zone.

Fransdal gathered the loose puck near the blue line before she fired a shot on net. Cobbers junior forward Bekah Wright was stationed in front of the goal and provided a screen on the play, Fransdal said.

“I actually didn’t know it went in at first,” Fransdal said. “It was an unreal feeling.”

Erickson said her team’s strong play at the end of the third period helped the Cobbers in overtime.

“I think it started with just five minutes of hot, hot energy in the third period and transitioned into some good overtime energy,” Erickson said.

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, SCU, Rasmussen (Solheim, Killmer) 8:55 (pp). 2, CC, Schaack (Nelson) 13:22 (pp).

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

OVERTIME: 3, CC, Fransdal 2:55.

SAVES: SCU, Hall 6-13-8-1–28. CC, Denny 8-9-11-2–30.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com