SOMERSET, Wis. -- A quirk goal and an unlucky bounce worked against the top-seeded Western Wisconsin Stars in their 3-2 loss to fourth-seeded Chippewa Falls/Menomonie in a sectional semifinal Tuesday night, Feb. 9, in Somerset.
Chippewa Falls/Menomonie went on to knock off the second-seeded St. Croix Valley Fusion, 7-4, in Saturday’s sectional title game in River Falls.
The Stars struck first in Tuesday night’s semifinal but the bounces all went the Sabers’ way after that.
Chippewa Falls/Menomonie was awarded a goal after the first period ended that tied the score, 1-1, then got the go-ahead goal when a centering pass from behind the net ricocheted off a Western Wisconsin defender in the second period.
After Alise Wiehl gave the Stars a 1-0 lead 1 minute, 19 seconds into the game, a shot by the Sabers was ruled a goal by one official and waved off by another with 1:32 remaining in the period, seemingly preserving Western Wisconsin’s one goal lead. But after the period ended the officials talked it over and awarded Chippewa Falls/Menomonie the goal to tie the score, 1-1, and ordered the final 1:32 of the first period to be replayed at the start of the second.
The Stars went on to outshoot the Sabers 16-8 in the second period but it was the Sabers who scored the only goal off a deflection of a centering pass from behind the net.
After Chippewa Falls/Menomonie extended its lead to 3-1 at the 12:15 mark of the third, Wiehl scored her second goal with 1:27 remaining, off an assist from Ellie Brice, but that’s as close as Western Wisconsin could get.
The loss ended the Stars’ season with a record of 13-4-0.