Kaylee Merrill

The SUNY-Potsdam NCAA Division III women’s hockey team trailed Morrisville 3-1 midway through the third period Friday night.

That is not a prime position.

Especially on home ice.

Enter Wasilla’s Kaylee Merrill.

Problem solved.

Merrill scored two goals to force overtime, then furnished the primary power-play assist on the overtime dagger to trigger Potsdam’s 4-3 overtime win on an evening when she unloaded nine shots on goal.

Merrill, a senior forward, generated all three of her points in the final 12 minutes, 40 seconds of play. With 23-8—31 totals in 20 games, she is tied for third in Division III in goals. Friday’s two-goal game marked her ninth multiple-goal game this season.

She wasn’t the only Alaskan in women’s D-III to have a hand in an overtime victory Friday. Stevenson senior defenseman Ashlyn Bray of Ester, who prior to Friday had one assist in 18 games, contributed two assists, including one on the game-winning goal, to help pocket a 5-4 OT win against Chatham.

Darci Matson

Unsurprisingly, Wasilla’s Darci Matson also had herself a fine Friday night. The sophomore had one goal and one assist to pump her nation-leading points total to 24-28—52 in just 20 games. Matson, who is second in D-III in goals, has copped at least one point in 19 of 20 games to average 2.6 points per game this season. The returning Second-Team All-American also has produced 14 multiple-point games.

Elsewhere in women’s D-III, freshman forward Corsica Skibinski of Anchorage had an assist for No. 14 Nazareth in a 2-0 win at King’s to give her 2-4—6 totals in 17 games. She also won 17 of 23 faceoffs. Anchorage’s McKinley Hoff snagged her sixth shutout this season – granted, she faced just seven shots – and improved to 10-3-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. King’s goalie Syd Dahl isn’t an Alaskan, but let’s shout praise her way – Dahl stopped a school-record 79 shots for her winless (0-18-2) team to post a ridiculous, especially given the volume of vulcanized rubber she faced, game save percentage of .975.

Also in D-III, Bailey Brunnhoelzl of Palmer scored a goal and fired six shots for No. 13 St. Norbert in a 6-1 win at Trine. Brunnhoelzl, a freshman forward, is 7-4—11 in 22 games.

While we’re discussing women’s D-III, note that five skaters from the Alaska All Stars U-19 competition team have made college commitments. Defensemen Azuray Kepler of Wasilla (Aurora) and Riley Hill of Anchorage (Alvernia), and forwards Khenzie Connick of Anchorage (Alvernia), Alexis Kindred of Anchorage (Nazareth) and Charlotte Kotlarchuk of Eagle River (Concordia-Minnesota) have all chosen their next hockey home.

Allie Monrean

In women’s Division I Friday, St. Thomas’ Allie Monrean of Anchorage scored a power-play goal in a 3-0 win at Bemidji State, which received 18 saves from Hannah Hogenson of Anchorage. Monrean improved to 4-3—7 in 29 games.

In men’s D-I action, Caleb Moretz of Fairbanks assisted on the game-winning goal with just 11 seconds left in regulation to help spark No. 18 RIT to a 3-2 win at Canisius. Moretz is 5-9—14 in 19 games. Teammate Calvon Boots, a defenseman from Fairbanks, had an, uh, eventful evening. He was part of what passes for a Gong Show in college pucks – Boots was issued a roughing minor, an excessive roughing major and a game misconduct in a third-period disagreement that triggered four game misconducts and 78 penalty minutes.

In men’s D-III play, Hamline goalie Kevin Lake of Anchorage stopped 20 shots in a 3-2 win over Gustavus to even his record at 9-9-0. He has a 2.57 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

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