Henry’s lone goal lifts MSU women’s hockey to first conference title game

ST. LOUIS — One goal was enough for Minot State to advance to the first-ever Women’s Midwest College Hockey (WMCH) conference championship game.

Late into the second period on Saturday, Minot State women’s hockey veterans Sami Jo Henry and Mackenzie Balogh linked up for the only goal in 1-0 win over Lindenwood-Belleville.

The No. 2-seeded Beavers, who received a bye into the conference tournament semifinals, survived the low-scoring affair with a 27-save shutout performance by goaltender Jordan Ivanco.

Hannah Stone made 24 saves for No. 3-seeded Lindenwood-Belleville, but wasn’t able to turn aside Henry with 2:35 left in the middle frame.

It was Henry’s team-leading 14th ACHA goal of the season and Balogh’s 13th assist.

Henry leads the team with 27 points in 21 games this season. Balogh is right behind her with 25 points in 22 games played.

In the other conference tournament semifinal played on Saturday at the FSI Shark Tank in St. Louis, top-seeded Liberty handled McKendree, 3-0.

Liberty (25-2-0) and MSU (18-3-1), not only the top two teams in the WMCH but the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in the whole of ACHA Division I, will square off for the conference championship at 12:45 p.m. this afternoon in St. Louis.

The winner receives an automatic bid into the eight-team ACHA Division I national tournament in Frisco, Texas, later this month. The loser will more than likely get one of the five at-large bids into nationals.

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