MARQUETTE - Marquette's entry into the USA Hockey girls national championship tournament locked up its berth in the quarterfinal round with a second-straight win on Thursday afternoon.
The City Insurance Sentinels defeated the Princeton, N.J., Tiger Lillies 9-0 to improve to 2-0 with one qualifying, pool-play game remaining today in the USA Hockey Girls Tier II 16-and-under National Championship being played in Amherst, N.Y.
Those two wins - which include a 5-2 victory over Potsdam, N.Y., on Wednesday - will be enough for the nation's No. 9-ranked team to advance, Marquette coach Jeff Cornock said via telephone on Thursday.
The Marquette City?Insurance Sentinels’ Sydney Cornock watches an opponent during her team’s 9-0 victory over Princeton, N.J., in the USA Hockey Tier II 16-and-under Girls National Championships in Amherst, N.Y., on Thursday. Cornock was credited with an assist as the Sentinels won their second straight game. (Photo courtesy of Pam Cornock)
That's because four of the six teams in Pools C and D, which combined make up the tourney's National Division, will continue on for more games this weekend.
However, the Sentinels can improve their seeding with another win against the No. 3 team in the country, the Boch/Charles River, Mass., Blazers, at 12:20 p.m. today.
As she has all season, Allison Carlson, 16, of Negaunee led the Sentinels' offense, scoring five goals and adding two assists on Thursday. She scored the only goal that wasn't at even strength, an unassisted shorthanded tally late in the second period that made it 5-0.
Four Marquette players, 14-year-old Kailey Godfrey and 16-year-olds Sydney Higgins, Katie Pryor and Kirsten Iwanski, scored the Sentinels' other goals. In addition, Higgins had two assists and Godfrey and Iwanski had one each as the locals scored twice in the opening period, three times in the second and another four in the third.
The team's other point producers were also from Marquette with one assist each - Lauryn Folker, 14, Freya Holferty, 15, and Sydney Cornock, 16.
But Jeff Cornock had praise for another player, Ally Polich, 16, of Iron River.
"Allison (Carlson), she's always going to have a good game," Cornock said, "but Ally (Polich) really showed up for us today.
"She's got great speed and can get to the puck before anybody else, but she always gets rid of it right away.
"Today, she understood how important it is for her to hold it for an extra second or two. She had all kinds of room several times, and one time, she faked a backhand and took it to her forehand.
"She had some great scoring opportunities, even though we didn't get goals on them."
Marquette outshot Princeton 42-6, including 32-3 over the final two periods as Sentinels goalie Hannah Riesland, 15, of Marquette had just those half-dozen saves while Tiger Lillies netminder Sara Brezniak made 33.
Carlson, the only player with a shorthanded goal in this event, is far and away the leading scorer of the tournament after two games with nine goals and three assists for 12 points.
Next comes Higgins and Potsdam's Kalie Grant, each with five points. Higgins has two goals and three assists, while Grant has four goals and an assist.
Today's contest and other Sentinels games will be broadcast by Marquette radio station WUPZ, 94.9 FM, The Point.
Quarterfinal games will be played at 10:10 and 10:25 a.m. Saturday, with the semifinals later that day at 4:45 p.m. and the national championship at 10 a.m. Sunday.