Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff
Cardinals get payback, Elmira prevails in quarterfinal rematch to set East/West Classic Final
Today was a day the No. 3 Plattsburgh Cardinals have been looking forward to for quite some time. It's been marked on the calendar since November 8th when the then-top ranked Cardinals took the brunt of a loss to Norwich(11-1-1). While Plattsburgh(10-2) took their first loss of the season that day, the Cadets remained unbeaten ever since.
Until today. Turnabout was fair play for the defending national champions as they topped No. 1 Norwich 3-2 at Kreitzberg Arena. The Cardinals took very little time in setting the tone for the Sunday afternoon affair, as they pulled ahead permanently just 1:10 into the contest. Meghan Kraus was the responsible party, as she turned an offensive zone intercept into a glove side finish to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead after one period. The Cardinals limited Norwich pressure in the second, limiting the Cadets to just three shots while doubling up their lead on the power play. Junior Baye Flanagan delivered the goods for Plattsburgh in the middle period, taking a D-to-D pass and ripping it past netminder Laurie King from the blue line for her first goal as a Cardinal in her Plattsburgh debut.
Kraus added further insurance in the third with a second goal, assisted by Sheeran. That would eventually become the game-winning goal as the Cadets mounted a firm comeback bid in the final 10 minutes, thinning the deficit to one on power play scores for Amanda Conway and Samantha Benoit, but the comeback trail stopped just short. Plattsburgh outshot the Cadets 26-21, with Kassi Abbott's 19 saves earning her seventh win of the season.
In the other semifinal, second period uncertainty turned into firm third period domination for Elmira. The No. 2 Soaring Eagles were locked in a 1-1 deadlock through forty minutes of action, but No. 4 Adrian had no answers for a four goal third as Elmira went on to win in dominant 5-1 fashion in a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal win for the Bulldogs. The game was scoreless until the middle stanza, when Bulldog Rose Krasofsky netted the lid lifter at 2:54 of the second period. Elmira responded before the horn with the help of prolific rookie Devyn Gilman, who continued an impressive rookie season with the game-tying goal to create a 1-1 stalemate after two periods. From there, the third period runaway was on for Elmira. Elmira's Katie Granato pumped a slap shot from just inside the blue line for an unassisted goal to take the lead. Shortly thereafter Maddy Jerolman scored by banking the puck off the body of Adrian goalie Kate Turner, and Granato and Strawinski rounded out the scoring with goals in the last four minutes to put it further out of reach. Elmira outshot the Bulldogs 33-23, including a 14-8 margin in the third period.
Trinity Men Snap Slide With Third Period Eruption
After a 6-0 start, the Trinity Bantams (7-3-2) have had their fair share of struggles lately against a rigorous midseason schedule. Trinity entered Sunday's action winless in their last five, with all five opponents either ranked or receiving votes at some point this season. It took some time to create separation, but the Bantams finally put the skid in the rear view mirror with a late game offensive explosion in NESCAC play. Middlebury(3-9-0), who beat Oswego not long ago, hung tough for 40 scoreless minutes, but the Bantams opened the floodgates with a relentless third period. Trinity scored three times on 21 shots to pull away with the NESCAC win by a 3-0 final score at Kenyon Arena. Dylan Healey broke the game open at 0:28 of the third, and Barclay Gammill scored twice more to seal the deal for the Bantams.
Utica Men, River Falls Women play National Teams
After last night's hard fought setback against No. 8 Adrian, No. 10 Utica decided they weren't about to come away from the Mitten state empty handed today. In fact, not even a 4-1 deficit at the hands of some of the best 17 and 18 year old hockey players in the world was too large today. Utica rallied out of a 4-1 hole at the midpoint of the contest with four unanswered goals to top the US Under-18 Team, 5-4, at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. For Utica, it's their second consecutive win over Team USA, with the last coming in December of 2013 against a team featuring future NHL Stars Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin. The 18Us outpaced a Kyle Lajeunesse tally with lamp lighters by Erik Middendorf, Patrick Giles, Jonathan Gruden, and Oliver Wahlstrom to set a torrid pace that seemingly put the game out of reach. A late second period goal by Michigan native Brett Szajner changed everything, as it sparked a three goal third period comeback. Utica's Conor Landrigan, Mik Bushinski, and Kevin Valenti each scored in the rally, with Valenti's even strength goal serving as the game-winner. Patrik Virtanen, Gianluca Baggetta, and Henry Dill combined to earn the win.
While the Pioneers battled young stars that may someday grace NHL ice, the UW-River Falls women did battle with a team from the upcoming Olympic Games. The South Korean national team paid a visit to Hunt Arena, and while the Olympians grabbed a first period lead, the persistent Falcons fought right back and went on to win by a 4-1 score. Amy Auran leveled the score at one apiece early in the second period, and was later joined by Maddy Illikainen, Carly Moran, and an empty netter from Callie Hoff as the Falcons hauled in the exhibition win.
- Castleton 1, Manhattanville 0 (Women)- Aimee Brand scored the lone goal of the game, and Alexis Kalm did the rest with 22 saves to pace the Spartans to the Catamount Radio Invitational Title.
- Augsburg 2, UW-Eau Claire 1 (Women)- Megan Johnson scored first for the Auggies, then scored again after the Blugolds tied it to nail down the non-conference win over Eau Claire, who received votes in the most recent D3hockey.com Women's Top 10. There were fourteen combined power play chances in the contest, with each team capitalizing once apiece.