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Fusion threepeat! Claim state hockey title in 4 OTs

Sophomore Sally Cranston is mobbed by older sister Alice (11), junior Tori Klingler (8) and senior Nikki Plunkett seconds after scoring the game-winning goal Saturday in Madison.

Sophomore Sally Cranston scored 24 seconds into the fourth overtime to end the longest championship game in WIAA State Girls' Hockey Tournament history and lift the St. Croix Valley Fusion to a 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Central Wisconsin Storm Saturday at Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

The state title is the third straight for the Fusion, a cooperative team consisting of players from River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St. Croix Central and Spring Valley high schools.

St. Croix Valley advanced to the championship game with a 7-1 victory over Appleton United Friday. They took an early 2-0 lead in the title game against the Storm (Mosinee, D.C. Everest, Wausau East, Wausau West) on first period goals by seniors Sig Dangeur and Alice Cranston.

The Storm pulled to within 2-1 at the end of one, and then scored the only goal of the second period to tie the score. After a scoreless third period, and three scoreless eight-minute overtimes, Sally Cranston redirected a shot by older sister Alice 24 seconds into the fourth overtime past Storm goaltender Hillary Drake, setting off a wild celebration and giving the Fusion their third straight state title.

Fusion goaltender Kalli Armagost finished with 28 saves, including 16 in the first three overtimes, as the Fusion outshot the Storm, 47-30.

See the March 10 print edition of the River Falls Journal for more.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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