Rhody women’s hockey players gain honors despite unsuccessful bid for national title

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 16, 2012 – The University of Rhode Island’s women’s team had high hopes traveling to Wooster, Ohio for the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s national tournament a couple of weekends ago.

URI was seeded third in the tourney and had just come off another dominant season in capturing its conference title.

But the Rams could not get by Robert Morris, losing 2-0 in a tight battle. URI did not come away empty handed, however, with five players gathering the following post-season ACHA honors:

*Johanna Leskinen (forward) First Team All American, and Second Team All Tournament, of Helsinki, Finland.

*Kayla Robidoux (defense) First Team All American, of Cumberland.

*Meghan Birnie (forward) Second Team All American, of Mansfield, Mass.

*Lauren Hillberg (defense) Honorable Mention, of Westwood, Mass.

*Kayla DiLorenzo (goalie) Honorable Mention, of Chepachet.

“We had a great run this season,” said head coach Beth McCann. “We had a national championship in our sights but just could not capture the trophy. Our players and staff worked hard all season and should be proud of how they represented the University of Rhode Island. We gained national recognition because of the outstanding athleticism of our players.”

Tourney details

In the first round of the national tournament, Rhody came out strong and posted a 5-1 win against the University of Michigan. Leskinen led the way with a hat trick. Game two of the day paired URI with New England rival the University of Massachusetts. After allowing a goal early in the first period, UMass goalie Chelsea Correll was perfect in preventing another URI tally. Tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, the Rams had a great chance to win it during a 5-on-3 power play, but they never capitalized.

The Rams finished the opening day with a win and a tie.

On day two, Rhody faced off against No. 1 ranked Robert Morris, but came up short, 2-0.

“With the play of Kayla (DiLorenzo), who played her best hockey of the season in the three national tournament games, we gave up only four goals against some of the best teams in the nation,” McCann said.

“I want to offer a special thanks to all the Rhody fans and families that traveled with us throughout the season and to the nationals. Their support has contributed to our successful season, and the team and staff greatly appreciate the support,” McCann said.

She praised all of the URI seniors: captain Leskinen, assistant captain Danika Korpacz of West Greenwich, assistant captain Birnie, forward Jess Morgillo of Hamden, Conn., and defensman Robidoux.

“They can hold their heads up high as the URI women’s ice hockey team had a great season with an ACHA record of 22-7-1,” McCann said.

Pictured above

ALL AMERICAN: Forward Johanna Leskinen First Team All American and Second Team All Tournament, of Helsinki Finland, in action for Rhody. Photo courtesy of URI women’s hockey team.( she wears number 16)

HONORABLE MENTION: Goalie Kayla DiLorenzo, of Chepachet,

earned Honorable Mention in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s All American selections. Photo courtesy of URI women’s hockey team. ( she wears number 33)