Cardinals fall to RIT in OT
RIT earns spot in national title game
Press-Republican The Press Republican Sat Mar 17, 2012, 03:23 AM EDT
ROCHESTER — There hasn't been a lot separating the RIT and Plattsburgh State women's hockey teams in head-to-head battles this season.
And there wasn't a lot that separated the two on Friday.
But the top-ranked Tigers prevailed in the biggest game of the season between the two ECAC West rivals when Lindsay Grigg's goal 2:30 into overtime lifted host RIT to a 2-1 win in the NCAA Division III semifinals at Frank Ritter Arena.
The Cardinals will play Gustavus Adolphus today in the third-place contest. RIT will meet Norwich in the championship game.
"It was an up-and-down, back-and-forth game," Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. "It was a typical game between the two teams. We obviously wanted to win, but I'm proud of the kids. They gave a great effort."
The Tigers (27-1-1) took the lead in the first period and carried it into the third.
Laura Chamberlain, who played a strong game in the RIT nets, preserved the lead with a big save on Jenny Kistner's deflection 2:30 into the third.
The Cardinals then nearly tied it off a scramble in front of the RIT net with 12:14 remaining. The officials ruled the puck stayed out of the net, and the call went upstairs for further review. It was upheld, and the Tigers still had their one-goal lead.
Plattsburgh (19-7-3) finally broke through at the 15:05 mark when RIT was in the process of being called for a penalty. Kistner put a shot on net from an angle and Emma Rutherford was there to put in the rebound from in close.
"Coach (Houle) prepares us very well for our games against RIT," Rutherford said. "We just didn't get the right bounces today."
The Cardinals had plenty of chances to win the game in regulation, finishing with a 33-25 advantage in shots on goal over the first three periods
But overtime was a different story as the Tigers came out on the attack. RIT held a 6-1 edge in shots in the extra session and pressured the Plattsburgh net before Grigg decided the issue.
Ariane Yokoyama took the puck down the right side and centered a pass to Grigg, who was crashing the net. Grigg deflected the puck past Plattsburgh goalie Sydney Aveson, who played another strong game.
"It was a really good play," Aveson said. "She went backdoor and there wasn't much I could do about it."
"It comes down to battling and executing," Houle said. "I felt we were able to carry the play at times."
The Tigers, who were 1-1-1 in three games against the Cardinals this season prior to Friday, took the lead with 11:29 gone in the first period.
Aveson made a save, but the puck deflected in front to Marissa Maugeri, who beat the Cardinals' netminder from straight on.
Plattsburgh held a 12-10 edge in shots in the first period and had a couple of flurries in front of the RIT net, one coming on the lone power play of the stanza.
"I felt we were back on our heels a little in the first period at times, but we were able to make some adjustments," Houle said.
Aveson made a big save in front with 6:35 gone in the second period, and the Cardinals then applied some pressure of their own as they outshot the Tigers, 13-8, in the stanza.
One of Chamberlain's best saves in the game came when Plattsburgh went on a power play with 8:56 gone in the second. Teal Gove scored two power-play goals on passes to the far side of the net in the Cardinals' quarterfinal victory at Middlebury. She had the same type of scoring opportunity this time, but Chamberlain was able to slide over and make the save.
So despite a 25-18 advantage in shots over the first two periods, RIT still had its one-goal lead heading into the third.
Chamberlain made 33 saves on 34 shots and Aveson stopped 29 of 31 shots.
Both the Cardinals and Tigers are lethal on the power play but both were kept off the board with a player advantage. Plattsburgh went 0-for-5, and the Tigers were 0-for-2.
Norwich 4, Gustavus Adolphus 3, OT
Leading scorer Julie Fortier re-directed Sarianne Lynn's shot from the point into the net at 4:07 of overtime to lift the defending national champion Cadets (27-2-1) into tonight's title game.
Norwich had to kill off a penalty for the first 1:57 of overtime before prevailing.
Kaycie Anderson, with Fortier assisting, gave Norwich a 3-2 lead at 5:37 of the third before Lindsey Hjelm's power-play goal at 9:33 tied it for Gustavus Adolphus.
Meghan Papagno and Jillayne DeBus also scored for the Cadets, while Melissa Doyle tallied twice for the Gusties (24-3-2).
The game was tied 1-all after one period and 2-all after two.
The Norwich victory sets up a rematch of last year's Division III championship game, when the Cadets skated off with a 5-2 victory.
RIT 2, Plattsburgh 1, OT
Plattsburgh 0 0 1 0 — 1
RIT 1 0 0 1 — 2
First period- 1, RIT, Maugeri (Hills, Zach), 11:29.
Second period- no scoring.
Third period- 2, PSU, Rutherford (Kistner, Parke), 15:05.
Overtime- 3, RIT, Grigg (Yokoyama), 2:30.
Shots on goal:
Plattsburgh 12 13 8 1 — 34
RIT 10 8 7 6 — 31
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Aveson, PSU, 31-29. Chamberlain, RIT, 34-33.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh, 0-5. RIT, 0-2.