After a stupendous 2012-13 season, the Lakers have ended their season in a 4-1 loss against Boston University in the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four semifinals on Saturday, March 23.
The Lakers conclude the season with an overall record of 29-7-1, and 17-3-0 in the College Hockey American Conference.
The loss puts the women’s hockey record in NCAA playoff competition to 4-9 in team history. Minnesota went on to claim the championship title over Boston University on Sunday, March 24.
Despite the loss to Boston, the Lakers can look back on an absolutely incredible season, and one that reflects the perfect combination of united teammates and dedicated staff.
The Lakers claimed the number 5 spot on the final United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division I women’s hockey poll.
Senior goaltender Stephanie Ciampa went into the game against Boston University as the third-ranked goaltender in the nation, but her focus was not deterred by such recognition.
“I don’t really think about (being ranked third in the nation), because at that point in the season, stats and awards don’t matter,” said Ciampa. “Anything can happen in these games, and a win means a whole lot more than numbers.”
Ciampa enjoyed her time at the Frozen Four and knows the Lakers stand behind their performance and the season as a whole.
“It was great for our team to be a part of the Frozen Four and to compete in that environment,” she said. “The game did not go the way we wanted it to, but we are proud of all that we accomplished this year.”
In the week preceding the Frozen Four tournament, freshman forward Jenna Dingeldein was named College Hockey America (CHA) Player of the Week, alongside Ciampa and junior forward Christine Bestland.
“Being named CHA Player of the Week is very exciting. There are many players deserving of CHA Player of the Week, and being honored with the recognition is amazing,” Dingeldein said.
Dingeldein made her first appearance in the Frozen Four over the weekend and found the Lakers stuck together not only in the semifinals, but also throughout the entire season.
“This weekend was an amazing experience, and one the team will not forget. As a team this year we have accomplished things many people said we couldn’t. We knew if we worked hard and played together, that we could make it far into the tournament,” Dingeldien said.
Despite the loss, Dingeldein can clearly find the positives of the spectacular season that she was part of with the Lakers.
“Although the outcome was not what we wanted when we went into the Frozen Four, it is something that our team must be proud of, just making that far. Our team is the closest team I have ever been on, and seeing it come to an end is sad,” said Dingeldein. “However, knowing we accomplished so much is something that this group of girls can always say we did together.”
Coach Michael Sisti is no stranger to the NCAA Frozen Four tournament, as he coached the Lakers to the competition in both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. In fact, Sisti has carried the Lakers to NCAA Division I play for the last nine years.
Nonetheless, Sisti is very proud of his team, and applauds them on their hard work and determination this season.
“I think the team bought in to what we were trying to accomplish. They all respect each other and supported one another. They developed mental toughness and a winning attitude that helped them though the tough times,” said Coach Sisti.
In the game against Boston University on Saturday, Boston scored a goal just 13 seconds into the match, and were outshot in the first period by a margin of 12 to six.
“The quick goal may have rattled a few of our players and changed momentum at the start of the game. They [Boston] were able to get a few timely goals that helped them play with good energy, and we just missed on a few chances that may have helped us gain control of the game,” said Sisti. “We fought hard and played with pride until the final buzzer, so overall we are very proud of the girls. Boston University is a very good team with some extremely talented players and they played a great game against us.”
Overall, Sisti is incredibly pleased with the progress and outcome of the season.
“We once again proved that indomitable will could lead to amazing accomplishments. Our young team improved throughout the season and matured on and off the ice,” said Sisti. “They represented our school with great tenacity and pride. I am very proud of my staff and players for another great season.”