Plattsburgh State claims ECAC West, auto bid with comeback vs. Elmira
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Another chapter was added to the long, storied women's hockey rivalry between Plattsburgh State and Elmira Sunday afternoon as the Cardinals rallied for a 4-3 win against the Soaring Eagles in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women's West Championship Game at the Stafford Ice Arena.
The victory gives Plattsburgh State its second consecutive ECAC Women's West title and the fourth in program history. The Cardinals will also receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Tournament.
A fast-paced start to the game saw Elmira (21-5-1) with the better of the opportunities early in the first period. With a Plattsburgh State (25-1-1) power play winding down, a Cardinal turnover gave Ashton Hogan a short-handed breakaway but Sydney Aveson made a sprawling save with her left pad to keep Elmira off the board.
Later in the period, Elmira's Lindsay Burrows missed a shot from the left point which allowed Chelsea VanGlahn to gather the loose puck and give the Cardinals a 3-on-1 opportunity. VanGlahn gave a pass to Giovanna Senese, who fired a shot from the slot into the left corner to give Plattsburgh State a 1-0 lead at the 9:04 mark of the first.
Elmira wasted no time retaliating as Tanis Lamoureux made a long pass to Ashley Ryan and Ryan beat Aveson with a goal off the backhand to tie it up at 1-1 just 55 seconds later.
Early in the second, Elmira goaltender Lisa Marshall denied shots by Tyne Gove and Jenny Kistner before Alyssa Parke buried a shot in the top-right corner to put Plattsburgh State up by a score of 2-1 with 1:35 gone in the middle period.
The see-saw battle continued as Elmira knotted the score at 2-2 when Anna Tude scored a power-play goal off a rebound from Erin Weston at the 14:36 mark of the second.
With 3:41 off the clock in the third, the Soaring Eagles grabbed a 3-2 lead when Weston's shot from the right point deflected off a Plattsburgh State defender and past the right leg of Aveson.
The Cardinals drew even at 3-3 when Allison Era dropped a perfect pass back to Shannon Stewart and Stewart ripped a shot past Marshall for her team-leading 16th of the season at the 7:03 mark.
The game-winning goal came with 10:12 left in regulation when Morgan MacInnis found Gove at the back door and Gove sent a shot past the right leg of Marshall to give Plattsburgh State the 4-3 win.
The Cardinals outshot the Soaring Eagles 43-20. Elmira went 1-for-3 on the power play while Plattsburgh State went 0-for-5 on the afternoon.
Aveson recorded 17 saves to improve to 19-1-1 for the Cardinals. Marshall made 39 stops for Elmira in the loss.
With two goals, including Sunday's game winner, and a pair of assists, Gove was named the most outstanding player of the 2014 ECAC Women's West tournament. Stewart, Parke and Aveson were joined by Elmira's Weston, Lamoureux and Brooke Wilgosh on the all-tournament team.
Plattsburgh State has ensured its third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament and 10th overall. The Cardinals will await word of their next opponent with the announcement of the eight-team field set for Monday morning. The 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Selection Show can be viewed at NCAA.com.