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Championship Preview: ND & NMU

SOUTH BEND, IN. – The Division 2 CCWHA championship game features the No. 1 seed, Northern Michigan, against the No. 3 seed, Notre Dame. Puck drop is set for 10:30 am at Compton Family Ice Arena.


The 10-7-0 overall Irish have allowed 65 goals against this season while putting in a total of 55 goals for in ACHA action. As for league games, Notre Dame has an 8-4-0 CCWHA record after allowing 41 goals and racking up 38 goals on their opponents.

Kiera Dwyer leads ND with 40 points (33g, 7a). Dwyer has tallied three power play goals and six game-winning-goals. Marissa Kivi has gathered 20 points (4g, 16a) this season while Ana Grandinetti has had seven goals and five helpers for 12 points.

Sam Ayala has been in net for Notre Dame for a 3-4-0 record. Ayala averages 2.89 goals against per ACHA game. Caroline Riester has earned a 5-3-0 record for the Irish while averaging 4.88 goals against per game.

In their last CCWHA playoff game, the Irish took down the Saints of Aquinas, 7-4. Riester was in net making 44 saves on 48 shots on goal. Dwyer nabbed five goals, while Katie Sylvester (1g), and Grandinetti (1g) put in the other two goals. Kivi (2a) and Grace Cummings (2a) had the helpers in the win.


Northern Michigan enters the championship game at 18-3-2 in ACHA games and 11-0-1 in CCWHA games. The Wildcats have gathered 175 goals in their favor overall and 61 goals against, while in league play 117 goals have gone in for the green and yellow while they have only allowed 18 goals against in games against league opponents.

Allison Carlson has registered 114 points (79g, 35a) in the 2016-17 season. Carlson has put in three power play goals and four game-winners to lead the Wildcats. Sydney Higgins has put up 41 points (22g, 19a) for Northern while tallying a single power play goal, as well as four game-winning-goals. Loren Holfeld finishes out the top three point leaders with 33 points (17g, 16a).

Devin Christian has been in net for the Wildcats all season, earning a 18-3-2 record. Christian averages 2.59 goals against while averaging .873 save percentage. Christian has also racked up five shutouts this season.

In the Wildcats last tournament game, a 7-0 win against Michigan State sent NMU through to the championship game. Christian was in net making 15 saves on 15 shots for the shutout win. Carlson tallied four points (3g, 1a), while Carlie Kangas (2g), Vanessa Hiley (1g), Holfeld (1g, 2a) had the other points in the win.


Dating back to the 2014-15 season, Northern has controlled the wins in the series against Notre Dame. The Wildcats have gone 8-0-2 against the Irish during the past three season.


Fans unable to make it to the games can follow the league’s official Twitter account, @ccwha_d2 for score updates as well as on Facebook, Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association, for period-by-period updates.


Author : Mackenzie Smith

Photo: Mackenzie Smith