The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s ice hockey outshot opponent Plattsburgh State 20-4 and built a 2-0 lead through two periods and then held on to claim a 3-1 win in the third place game of the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championships being held in Elmira, New York. The Gusties, who finished at 25-4-1, got goals from Laura Stypulkowski, Kelly Crandall and Andrea Peterson.
Gustavus, which lost 7-3 to Middlebury College in the semifinal on Friday night, got off to a quick start in the consolation game outshooting Plattsburgh State 9-2 in the first period. The Gusties scored the lone goal of the first 20 minutes when Laura Stypulkowski directed a pass from Kelly Crandall past Cardinal goaltender Carolyne Roy on a power play just five minutes into the contest.
The second period was nearly a carbon copy of the first for Gustavus as the Gusties used their aggressive skating and forechecking to control play. Just three minutes into the period, Gustavus extended its lead to 2-0 when Kelly Crandall took a pass from Molly Doyle and beat Cardinal netminder Roy on a breakaway sliding the puck into an open net. The Gusties, who outshot Plattsburgh State 11-2 in the period, took the 2-0 lead into the locker room.
Gustavus started the third period on a power play and had several good scoring opportunities in the first minute-and-a-half, but the Cardinals’ Roy responded with two big saves to keep Plattsburgh in the hunt. Both teams traded scoring opportunities in the middle of the period, but neither team could convert. With three minutes remaining in the contest, Plattsburgh’s Lisa Bettencourt was sent to the penalty box for tripping giving the Gusties a 5-on-3 opportunity. It appeared that the Gusties were on their way to victory, however the Cardinals senior All-American Elizabeth Gibson turned the table on the Gusties as she intercepted an errant pass in front of the Gustavus net which she converted into a Plattsburgh goal cutting the lead to 2-1 at the 17:11 mark. With one player still in the penalty box, the Cardinals were unable to pull their goaltender until the final minute of play. Fortunately for Gustavus, sophomore defender Andrea Peterson found herself on the blueline with the puck facing an open net, which she converted with just :16 left on the clock giving the Gusties the 3-1 victory.
After the game, Gustavus Coach Mike Carroll commented on his team’s effort after Friday’s disappointing loss to Middlebury, “We talked about finishing this season on a positive note and leaving everything on the ice and they responded with a very solid performance.” Carroll added, “We wanted to get off to a fast start because we knew that Plattsburgh had played a very emotional game against Elmira (a 4-3 loss) in the later game yesterday. We did a good job of limiting their odd-man rushes and then converted on our first power play opportunity.”
Gustavus outshot the Cardinals 27-14 in the game. Kara Meyer recorded 13 saves for the Gusties, while Carolyne Roy turned away 24 shots for the Cardinals. Plattsburgh was whistled for 10 penalties for 20 minutes, while the Gusties were assessed six penalties for 12 minutes. Gustavus was one-for-eight with the advantage, while Plattsburgh was unable to convert on any of its four power play opportunities.
The third place NCAA finish was the second for Gustavus in the eight-year history of its program. The Gusties defeated Bowdoin 2-1 in the third place game in 2002.
Three Gustavus seniors completed their careers on Saturday. That group included Laura Stypulkowski, Dagney Johnson and Leah Erickson. Sophomore defender Andrea Peterson scored two goals during the weekend pushing her career point total to 100 points. She is the first Gustavus women’s hockey player to reach the 100-point plateau in her first two seasons of play.