PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- UW-River Falls defeated Elmira College in the Division III Women's Ice Hockey National Championship on Friday night, advancing to the title game. The Falcons had a great team effort and Chloe Kinsel's power play goal in overtime led the Falcons to a 4-3 win. The Falcons will play Plattsburgh for the championship on Saturday.
Elmira got on the board first at the 5:41 mark of the period. Dani Buehrer was bringing the puck out of the Falcon end, when it appeared that she was hooked to the ice and the Soaring Eagles jumped on the loose puck, worked it down low and beat goaltender Angie Hall to go up 1-0. Scoring for Elmira was Maddie Evangelous.
After the goal, the Falcons dominated play for the next five minutes. They sustained tremendous pressure in the offensive end, keeping Elmira from getting the puck out for an extended period of time. At the 9:30 mark of the period, the Falcons looked like they might tie the game up when a scramble in front came up just short as the Elmira goalie held the puck out, after she was pushed back into her own net.
The sustained pressure for the Falcons finally paid off a minute later at the 10:31 mark of the period. Chloe Kinsel created a turnover on the forecheck behind the Elmira net, slid the puck to Dani Sibley, who got the puck out in the slot to a wide open Carly Moran who buried a slap shot glove side to tie the game at 1. The goal was Moran's 21st on the season.
The second period began with both teams creating good scoring chances at both ends of the ice for the first 10 minutes. The action went back and forth with the Falcons getting the better of the puck possession and offensive zone time toward the middle of the period.
The Falcons fired a couple of shots early in the period at the Elmira end, but at the half way mark they kept sustained pressure in the Elmira end and generated 3 quality scoring chances, with one of them ending in a scramble right in front of the net.
Elmira would get the first power play of the period at the 13:27 mark, when Jessie Andersen was called for hooking. Elmira took advantage of the power play, and 48 seconds later were leading 2-1. Maddy Jerolman scored for the Soaring Eagles.
The Falcons would answer the power play goal just 31 seconds later. The Falcons would break out of their zone with speed and generate a 3-on-2 odd man rush. Carly Moran went wide with the puck and found Dani Sibley in the slot who fired a rocket high blocker side to the back of the net. The power play goal was Sibley's 21st of the season and tied the score at 2.
The second period ended with the score 2-2. The Soaring Eagles out shot the Falcons 9-7 in the period.
In the third, the Falcons used the Elmira power play as a chance to go on the offensive themselves. The Falcons got the puck and generated a couple of great scoring chances down low, forcing the Soaring Eagles to clear the puck, and they could not get the puck out of their own end. Karleigh Wolkerstorfer found the loosed puck at the blue line and fired a shot at the Elmira goal that appeared to go off a defensemen in front and find the back of the net. The short-handed goal put the Falcons up 3-2. The goal was Wolkerstorfer's 8th of the season. The Falcons lead the nation in short-handed goals.
After the goal the Falcons killed the rest of the penalty off with ease, not allowing Elmira to get set up in the offensive end.
Elmira would get another chance on the power play 26 seconds after the first one ended, when Jillayne Gilbert was called for hooking. Elmira generated a couple of really good scoring chances, but Angie Hall made 4 saves on the power play to keep the Falcons up 1.
Just seconds after the penalty to Gilbert expired, the Soaring Eagles got a loosed puck off a scramble in front and Maddie Evangelous, took a shot from below the goal line and banked the puck in off of goaltender Angie Hall to tie the game at 3.
The Falcons dominated the last 5 minutes of the period, keeping the puck in the offensive end and firing shots at the net, but could not break the 3-3 tie as the game was heading into overtime.
The Falcons came out flying in the overtime period and it looked like they would end it early, 18 seconds into the period when Carly Moran made goalie Kyle Nelson make a great save to keep the game tied.
The Falcons would keep the Soaring Eagles stuck in their own end for the first 5 minutes of the overtime. Elmira would catch a huge break at the 5:35 mark when a Paige Johnson was called for cross-checking when she was going for a loose puck in the neutral zone.
It appeared that Elmira had won the game on the power play when they found the back of the net off a scramble in front. The officials were right there and immediately ruled the goal no good, because the Elmira player had kicked the puck into the net.
Just 24 seconds after the Elmira power play expired, they were called for cross-checking and the Falcons went on the power play. The Falcons generated quality scoring chances early, but could not get the puck past the Elmira goalie. At 1:37 into the power play Chloe Kinsel picked up a loose puck in front of the net and her first shot got stopped by a sprawling goaltender, but she lifted her second shot over the out stretched arm of Elmira's goalie to score the game winner and put the Falcons in the national championship game. The goal was Kinsel's 26th of the season.