ROCHESTER, N.Y. — In the third overtime game of the women’s D-III hockey championship weekend, the Plattsburgh State Cardinals defeated Gustavus Adolphus to claim the third place game, 4-3, at Ritter Arena in Rochester, N.Y.
Justine Fisher scored the game-winner 2:51 into the five-minute extra period, firing a shot over Gustavus Adolphus goaltender Danielle Justice.
Overtime was set up by a rousing finish to regulation, with the teams trading goals inside the final two minutes of the game. Gustavus Adolphus forward Allie Schwab gave the Gusties the lead with 1:04 remaining
“I think that we knew the game wasn’t over no matter what the score was,” said Schwab, a senior. “Scoring that goal really created momentum on the bench, and with one minute left we just wanted to go out and hold them.”
The equalizer came seconds later, when Plattsburgh’s Teal Gove punched in the rebound of a Helen Giroux shot that hit the crossbar. The goal, scored with only 9.6 seconds remaining, gave Plattsburgh a stunning swing in momentum at the end of regulation.
“I saw the puck, threw it in front, and Helen took a great shot from the point,” said Gove. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”
The game was a close and competitive affair throughout, with the type of play that has typified the NCAA championship games this year.
The game remained scoreless through the first period, though both goalies were tested during the numerous rushes down the ice.
Late in the first, a shot from Gustavus Adolphus forward Jenna Christensen left Cardinals goalie Sydney Aveson scrambling. The puck eventually squirmed across the goal line, but moments after the whistle had blown, stopping play.
The play could not be reviewed, as the instant replay had no sound. The no goal call stood, riling up the Gustavus Adolphus supporters.
“I actually had it at first,” said Aveson. “I haven’t gotten a lot of calls my way, so to get one in this important a game was nice.”
Plattsburgh got on the board first in the second period. The Cardinals’ Emma Rutherford put the puck on goal, and when Justice fell reaching for the save, Kylie Klassen slid the puck in for the goal.
The Cardinals added a second goal 8:42 into the second when Allison Eva ripped a shot over Justice’s shoulder from beyond the faceoff circle. Justice struggled with high shots in the Golden Gusties matchup against Norwich, and Plattsburgh took advantage throughout.
Following Plattsburgh’s third penalty of the game, Gustavus Adolphus netted a power-play goal with 10:24 remaining in the second when Lindsey Hjelm beat Aveson to cut the deficit to one.
The Gusties tied the game at two 9:19 into the third period when Kelsey Kennedy’s shot was blocked and Carolyn Drayer sent the loose puck past Aveson’s stick.
The win gave Plattsburgh its 20th win in a season that saw the Cardinals advance to the semifinals as an at-large team in their eighth tournament appearance.
“At the end of the day, getting a win is a special feeling,” said Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle. “We’ve been a resilient team all year; we’ve had some ups and downs.”