Rochester, N.Y. – After responding to a waved off goal in the first period, scoring three unanswered goals to take a 3-2 lead late in the third, and persevering through its second-straight overtime game, the Gustavus women’s hockey team probably deserved better than a fourth place trophy following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Plattsburgh State. But as Head Coach Mike Carroll said after the game, “That’s hockey.”
After Allie Schwab (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) put Gustavus on top 3-2 with 1:04 left in regulation, Plattsburgh’s Teal Gove sent the game to overtime with just :10 seconds on the clock. Plattsburgh, who took No. 1 seeded RIT to OT in its semifinal game last night, got the overtime game-winner from Justine Fisher to earn the Cardinals third place at this season’s NCAA Championship.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win both games this weekend. It’s a fine line between winning and losing, but I thought our players played their hearts out once again today,” said Head Coach Mike Carroll. “We played hard and that’s a credit to the seniors, who did a great job leading, and everyone else who stuck together through the journey of the season.”
Gustavus finishes its 2011-12 campaign with an overall record of 24-4-2, while Plattsburgh improves to 20-7-3 with the third place victory. The Cardinals get redemption on Gustavus for a 3-1 loss suffered in the third place game on March 19, 2005 in Pine Valley, N.Y.
In what was reminiscent of last night’s start, senior goaltender Danielle Justice (Alexandria, Minn.) was called upon to make several big saves in the opening minutes. She stood tall once again and kept Plattsburgh out of the net through the first 20-minutes.
With scored tied at 0-0 at the start of the second period, it didn’t take long for Plattsburgh to put a goal on the scoreboard. Cardinal Kyllie Klassen scored the opening goal of the game off an Emma Rutherford assist at the 1:24 mark.
Plattsburgh would go up 2-0 after Allison Era scored at the 8:42 mark of the second. After controlling the zone for over two minutes, Era capped several strong shifts by beating Justice with a screened shot from the left point.
The Gusties turned things around following a tripping penalty assessed to Helen Giroux at the 9:50 mark of the second. After being blanked on their first two power play tries, Lindsey Hjelm found a way to score on the player-advantage for the second-straight night. At the 10:24 mark, Hjelm’s shot from the top of the umbrella ricocheted off a Cardinal defender and past Aveson to cut the lead to 2-1.
Trailing 2-1 with the clocking nearing the halfway point of the third period, Gustavus needed to score. Rookie Carolyn Draayer (Deephaven, Minn.) answered the call. After junior defender Kelsey Kennedy’s (Eagan, Minn.) shot from the left point was knocked down in front of the net, the rebound fell onto the stick of Draayer, who then turned and fired the puck into the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2.
The Gusties weren’t done there, as opportunity showed its face with 1:33 on the clock. After Mia Favretto went to the box for interference, Allie Schwab wasted little time on the power play, scoring the go-ahead goal (3-2) :29 seconds later on a shot through a screen from the top of the slot with 1:04 left to play.
“The whole game we knew we were in it. It didn’t matter what the score was, we knew we were in the game. Scoring that goal created a lot of momentum on the bench,” said Allie Schwab.
With hope all but lost, Plattsburgh dug deep. After gaining control of the offensive zone, the Cardinals got pucks towards the net. Following an initial shot that hit the pipe, Teal Gove was able to burry the game-tying goal with just :10 seconds remaining and send the game to overtime tied 3-3.
“We had some issues in our defensive zone at the end of regulation and hats off to Plattsburgh, they threw the puck at the net and made things happen,” said Carroll about the final minute of play.
Instead of one shot like last night, it took two shots to hand the Gusties the loss today. A back-door pass from Jordan Caldwell found the stick of Justine Fisher and the rest is history. The game-winning goal came at the 2:51 mark of the extra session.
The final shots on goal tally saw Gustavus with a 38-35 edge. The Gusties won the battle on special teams for the second-straight night, going 2-for-5 on the power play and holding the Cardinals scoreless on their one power play chance.
Despite turning in her top two performances of the season, Danielle Justice suffered her second loss of the weekend. The senior netminder made a season-high 31 saves on the afternoon. She finishes the year with an overall record of 18-2-2 and every Gustavus goaltending record in her back pocket.
Sydney Aveson picked up the win after turning away 35 shots in the contest. Aveson ends her season with an overall mark of 18-6-2.
Allie Schwab stated after the game that, “Throughout our season we’ve dealt with adversity. Like I told coach, we never give up. We wanted to prove ourselves and play to the best of our ability day in and day out. ‘Sell out’ is a phrase we use a lot. Knowing that these are our last few games, and especially for us seniors, it was on the line. We wanted to give it our all this weekend, put it on the line, and I thought we did that.”