ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Lindsay Grigg scored 2:30 into overtime to lift RIT (27-1-1) to a dramatic 2-1 victory against Plattsburgh State (19-7-3) in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament on Friday evening at Ritter Arena. With the win the Tigers clinched their second consecutive trip to the national championship game.
Ariane Yokoyama grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone and came in to the Plattsburgh end with Grigg going to the net on a 2-on-2 rush. From the right wing, Yokoyama feathered a cross-ice pass to Grigg who had just enough of a step on the defender to the deflect the pass past Plattsburgh goaltender Sydney Aveson to give the RIT the victory.
The Tigers led 1-0 until the final five minutes of regulation, when Plattsburgh State’s Emma Rutherford swatted home a rebound off of a shot from Jenny Kistner.
RIT’s Kolbee McCrea had a golden chance to win it in the last minute, as her backhand attempt went just over the net.
The Tigers came out buzzing in overtime, creating a flurry of chances in the first few minutes before Grigg’s goal.
The win gives RIT 27 on the season season, breaking a program mark for wins in a season and ties the NCAA Division III mark for victories in a season.
|MORE CHAMPIONSHIP INFO|
|RIT-Plattsburgh St.: Recap | Highlights|
|Norwich-G. Adolphus: Recap | Highlights|
|Olshansky: RIT, Plattsburgh State battle yet again|
|Olshansky: Fortier’s OT goal sparks Norwich|
Marissa Maugeri also scored for the Tigers on the evening. Tigers goaltender Laura Chamberlain was tremendous in the win, stopping 33 shots to improve to 16-1-1 this season. Aveson made 29 saves in a losing effort for the Cardinals
Plattsburgh out-shot RIT 34-31. The Cardinals were 0-for-5 with the man-advantage, while RIT was 0-for-2.
RIT scored the lone goal in a briskly played first period, with Plattsburgh holding a 12-10 edge in shots.
The Tigers got on the board at the 11:29 mark with Maugeri crashing the net and putting a shot past Aveson for her fifth goal of the season and second in two games. Erin Zach fired a shot from the left wing that Aveson stopped. The rebound caromed off Ali Hills at the right side of the net and bounced right to Maugeri in the slot, who was able to beat the Plattsburgh goaltender.
Chamberlain had to come up big on a Plattsburgh power-play, later in the period by stopping four shots during the scrum — most coming from the perimeter.
The goaltenders took center stage in the middle stanza, with each making several saves to keep it a 1-0 game after 40 minutes of play.
Chamberlain robbed Plattsburgh’s Teal Gove with a sliding glove save midway through the period, while the Cardinals were on a power play. Chamberlain also robbed Shannon Stewart and Kylie Klassen later in the frame as well.
Aveson came up big on a shot by Yokoyama, who was wide open in front after a great feed from Kourtney Kunichika.
Chamberlain kept it 1-0 Cardinals after robbing Kistner on a tip in attempt in tight four minutes into the period.
The Cardinals thought they had tied the game with 12:14 remaining, as Jordan Caldwell jammed the net after the original shot by Justine Fisher was stopped by Chamberlain. The puck laid loose in the crease for a split second behind Chamberlain before she was able to smother the puck before it crossed the line and the whistle blew.
Plattsburgh finally got on the board with 4:55 left in regulation, on a delayed RIT penalty, as Kistner fired a shot from the left wing that Chamberlain stopped, but Rutherford was there to chip in the rebound for her 16th goal of the season.
RIT improved to 4-2 all-time in NCAA tournament competition. Last season, RIT advanced to the national championship game, defeating Adrian in the quarterfinals 10-1 and Middlebury in the semifinals 5-2, before losing to Amherst in the championship game by a 5-2 score.
RIT improved to 53-3-3 over the last two seasons.