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UPDATE: Girls' hockey, gymnastics bring home state titles

The St. Croix Fusion defeated Green Bay Area Ice Bears 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Madison's Alliant Energy Center to claim their second consecutive state title.

It' quite an accomplishment for a school to win one state championship in a year. River Falls won two in one day Saturday.

The St. Croix Valley Fusion won their second straight state girls' hockey title in Madison Saturday afternoon, while the River Falls High School gymnastics team won its second championship in four years at the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids a few hours later.

Both teams will be welcomed back to River Falls with a parade on Main Street Sunday at noon.

The Fusion, a cooperative girls' hockey team consisting of players from River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St. Croix Central and Spring Valley high schools, defeated Green Bay East, 5-2, to win their second straight state championship.

Alice Cranston had two goals and an assist as the Fusion battled back from a 2-1 deficit early in the second period to defeat the Ice Cats.

Cranston assisted on the game-tying goal by Tara Frey 2:23 into the second period, then scored what turned out to be the game-winner five minutes later with an assist from her sister, Lily to put the Fusion up for good, 3-2.

The Fusion finish their season with a 24-4-1 record and become just the second team in WIAA history to win back-to back titles. Hudson accomplished the feat in 2002 and 2003.

Later in the day at Wisconsin Rapids, the Wildcat gymnastics team posted a total team score of 142.649 to win the Division 2 state championship. Whitefish Bay was its nearest competitor with 141.567.

The state title is the first for River Falls since 2007, and the fifth in the last nine years, including a string of three straight from 2002-04.

Wildcat senior Carly Jerry capped her high school career by winning the individual state championship in the floor exercise.

A welcome home parade for both teams will be held Sunday at noon, beginning at St. Croix Lanes and ending at the high school.

See the March 10 print edition of the River Falls Journal for more on River Falls' two state championship teams.