Compiled by D3hockey.com staff --
ADRIAN, Mich. -- As they survive and advance in their quest to become the queens of small college hockey, the Adrian Bulldogs may have already ascended to the throne as the queens of on-ice drama in this NCAA tournament. Just a week after needing an extra session to post their first NCAA tournament win over Elmira, a semifinal encore was in order for the Bulldogs on Friday.
In a matchup where neither team wanted to shake the other for quite some time, something eventually had to give. Kristin Lewicki broke a near 35 minute scoreless drought, and a 2-2 tie with her second goal of the game at 13:15 of overtime to lift Adrian(28-2-0) to a 3-2 win over Gustavus Adolphus(18-7-3) and the NCAA Division III Women's Championship game on home ice at Arrington Arena.
The win places Adrian in their first NCAA title game appearance at 7:00 p.m against three-time defending champion Plattsburgh, and puts Gustavus in the third place game against Norwich at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.
The contest was heavy on special teams, with 17 total power play opportunities between the teams. The host Bulldogs still landed the icebreaker in a five-on-five situation, and needed all of three minutes to assume the early lead. Kristin Lewicki took the lid off the matchup with her 31st goal of the season, assisted by the blue line tandem of Kelly O'Sullivan and Sydney Smith.
Gustavus outshot Adrian in the opening stanza by a 14-7 margin, and that pressure was due in large part to an early stretch where the Bulldogs squandered a power play opportunity, then ate three minor penalties in a span of 1:21, leaving the Gusties with a five-on-three advantage. The Gusties buried on that opportunity to square the game, with Laura Johnson's third goal of the season equaling the score.
The second period featured more of the same when it came to special teams involvement. Four power plays came and went before the Bulldogs re-captured the lead on another even strength situation when senior Sarah Shureb lit the lamp for the 24th time this season, assisted by upperclassmen Courtney Tyll and Kristi Zink at the 14:19 mark.
A late second period power play restored an even score for Gustavus. That door opened on a Kortney Diaz interference minor for the Bulldogs, and the Gusties walked through when defender Marina Chapman ripped in her fifth of the season with 1:55 left. Shots for the period were plentiful at an 18-16 margin tilted the way of the Gusties.
The goaltending throughout had been strong, but netminders Brooke Gibson and Amanda Dinella put on a show in the third period, both goaltenders turned in spectacular saves, and combined for 20 of them overall to fend off a bevy of scoring chances to get the game into an extra session, where the Bulldogs carried the play by a heavy margin.
Adrian built a strong offensive zone presence in overtime off another five-on-three chance, but Dinella proved difficult to crack until the team's 18th shot of the period, Lewicki's, stood as the final dagger to move Adrian on to the national championship game.
For Adrian, Gibson stopped 40 of 42 to earn the victory while Lewicki scored twice for the only multi point game among available skaters. The Golden Gusties were backstopped by DiNella, who fell to 13-4-2 after recording over 50 saves against the Bulldogs. Gustavus finished 2-of-8 on the power play, while killing off a school single game best 9-of-9 penalties.