NORTH CAROLINA STATE TAKES N.C. TRAILBLAZERS '06 WINTER WARM-UP TITLE
Raleigh , NC

The North Carolina State Lady Wolfpack carried off the championship in the North Carolina Trailblazers‚ 2006 Winter Warm-Up Tournament, capping two days of intense play with a 4-1 win over the Columbia Hot Flash on Feb. 19 in Raleigh .

The Winter Warm-Up, now in its fourth year, celebrates the anniversary of North Carolina ’s oldest women’s hockey organization with a weekend of competition and cameraderie for female players from around the region.

The 11-year-old Trailblazer organization sent both its C and D squads to the tournament held Feb. 17-19 at the RecZone, the practice ice of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The Roanoke Valley ( Va. ) Vixens returned to defend the title they won last year, while the Triad Thunder, N.C. State and the South Carolina squad rounded out the six-team field.

N.C. State and Columbia prevailed in two brackets of round-robin play to meet in Sunday’s final — a repeat of their round-robin meeting on Saturday, which the Wolfpack won 3-2.

The Hot Flash jumped on the board first Sunday as Dawn Grosjean scored off a feed from Veronica Bolos at 11:43 of the first period. But the Wolfpack came back less than a minute later, as Kristy Knight — the tournament’s top scorer — fired home a pass from Kelly Trione.

Julia Cunningham broke the tie halfway through the second period, scoring on another assist by Trione. N.C. State sealed the win in the game‚s final three minutes with goals by Knight and Tarranoh Dager.

ROUND ROBIN

The Wolfpack sharpened its teeth in the opening game of round-robin play on Friday night with an 8-0 win over the tournament’s high-spirited underdogs, the Trailblazers D squad. Dager led the attack with three goals while Lauren Deurhing chipped in two goals and an assist.

Kelly Keyes and Jodi Boyza led the Triad Thunder to an opening-game victory over the Trailblazers C team, each scoring a goal and an assist as the Thunder rolled to a 4-2 win. Debe Clark and Jake Jacobson scored in the second period to bring the ŒBlazers back to a 2-2 tie, but Triad’s Kristina Barker hit the tiebreaking goal with 2:39 left in the period.

Roanoke capped the first day‚s play with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Columbia . The Hot Flash held a 1-0 lead off Wendy Pace‚s goal midway through the first until the Vixens‚ Louise Henry tied it at 1-1 with four seconds left in the period. Jennifer Brammer gave Roanoke the game-winner six minutes into the second.

With the competitors divided into two brackets, each team played two games on Saturday to decide the standings for Sunday‚s semifinals.

The sharp-shooting Knight led the Wolfpack to a 4-2 win over the Trailblazers C with three goals in the morning game, then scored twice as N.C. State defeated Columbia 3-2 in the afternoon.

Roanoke ’s Catherine Case scored four goals in a 9-0 win over the Trailblazers D in the morning, while Liz Perez‚ and Leigh Belche’s goals led the Vixens to a 2-1 win over the Trailblazers C in the evening match-up.

The Triad again used a balanced scoring attack as Boyza and Anika Both scored in a 2-0 win over Columbia . The Thunder capped their day with a 7-1 win over the Trailblazers D, led by three goals each from Barker and

TEAM LEADERS

The Wolfpack’s Kristy Knight led all scorers in the tournament with 7 goals and 2 assists for a total of 9 points, aided by teammates Jessica Harrington ( 4-3-7 ) and Tarranoh Dager ( 4-2-6 ). N.C. State ’s Laura

Eischen carried off the tournament’s award for defensive sportsmanship — a stick autographed by Carolina Hurricanes alternate captain Glen Wesley — and the team finished with a 5-0 record.

Courtney Gibson led Columbia (1-4) with 3 goals and 1 assist (4 points), winning the forward sportsmanship award and a stick autographed by Hurricanes forward Ray Whitney. Netminder Autumn Wiley earned the goalie sportsmanship award.

Roanoke (3-1) was led by Catherine Case ( 5-1-6 ) and Louise Henry ( 3-3-6 ). Kristina Barker had a goal and 5 assists (6 points) to lead the Triad (4-0), while Kelly Keyes and Dawn Thornhill each added 3 goals and 2 assists (5 points each) for the Thunder.

Jake Jacobson scored 3 goals and added 2 assists (5 points) for the Trailblazers C team (0-4). Diane Haley scored the lone goal (1-0-0) for the Trailblazers D squad (0-4).

Triad goaltender Hanna Grace had 42 saves on 45 shots in four wins for an outstanding .933 save percentage, and Roanoke ’s Anna MacIntosh stopped 58 of 65 shots in four games (.892 svp). Trailblazers D team goalie Michele Goodman — playing her first games since giving birth to twin daughters — made 108 saves on 126 shots over three games for a (.857 svp).

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