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College Hockey:
Era’s overtime winner propels Plattsburgh to women’s D-III final

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Plattsburgh’s Allison Era had an alternate scenario in mind in regard to St. Thomas’ Alise Riedel’s record-setting performance.

With the Cardinals midway through a power play, the senior defenseman wristed a quickly-rising shot past Riedel 15:11 into overtime, propelling the Cardinals to a 1-0 triumph over the Tommies in the first of two NCAA semifinals matchups at Stafford Ice Arena.

Riedel set an NCAA Division III women’s tournament record with a 63-save performance, eclipsing the previous best of 45 set by Williams goaltender Monelle Quevillon on March 15, 2003.

“I knew I had a team in front of me that really helped me out,” said Riedel. “A couple of times, my ‘D’ ended up playing goal. We obviously knew they had a good offense and a good goalie, but saving 60 shots is definitely something I’m not used to.”

The Tommies were saddled by a pair of penalties in the opening six minutes of overtime and both were successfully extinguished without damage.

Era’s decisive shot came 42 seconds into the Plattsburgh power play.

“She made it tough for us,” said Era of Riedel’s efforts.

Era’s drive from just inside the blue line eluded Riedel up high.

“I was definitely surprised that that went in,” Era said. “I’m sure she did not see it with all that was going on in front of her. If she had seen it, I’m sure she would have stopped it like all of the others.”

St. Thomas killed off six of seven Cardinals’ penalties in the game.

Plattsburgh outshot the Tommies 64-30 in gaining the victory. Cardinals goalie Sydney Aveson improved to 21-1-1 with the shutout.

Giovanna Senese led Plattsburgh with 12 shots on goal, while forward Shannon Stewart contributed nine. The Cardinals directed 12 shots toward Riedel in the overtime session.

The Cardinals came out of the gate with a eager forecheck and the offensive pressure led to the game’s first miscue when Riedel, in the process of attempting to clear out a crew of opposing jerseys in close, got nabbed for interference with 1:53 played. The Cardinals fired three shots on Riedel with the man-advantage.

Late in the opening period, the hosts gained their second power-play chance, but Riedel turned aside four bids in keeping the game scoreless.

In all, Riedel finished with 19 stops in the first, while Aveson registered five saves.

Plattsburgh’s Ali Vakos’ end-to-end rush and subsequent drive from 20 feet out, with 6:45 remaining in the middle period, nearly solved Riedel, who mirrored her save total from the first stanza.

From the start of the third period, the tempo on both sides was noticeably leveled up. Riedel and Aveson held fast, nonetheless.

“This showed what happens when two All-American goalies get together,” said Tommies coach Tom Palkowski. “I’m awfully proud of my kids.”

“Basically, we just wanted to get pucks to the net and get some screens in front of her,” said Cardinals’ coach Kevin Houle of his thought process in dealing with Riedel. “I thought she was seeing everything most of the time and we were hoping to get that one time. Obviously, you want to go out and win it early, but at the same time, you don’t want to give up breakaways like we did [earlier], but it was a great finish.”

“They had a little better of the offensive play, but from a defensive aspect, we did what we wanted,” added Palkowski. “For the most part, we turned them to the outside which allowed [Riedel] to get a good look at it. We were able to counter-punch and had some chances.”

Plattsburgh is hosting the women’s D-III championship for the fourth time in school history.

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