PLATTSBURGH — Down a goal to Elmira College in the third period Sunday afternoon, Plattsburgh State responded to the challenge.
Shannon Stewart tied it and Tyne Gove then scored the eventual game-winning goal in the Cardinals’ 4-3 victory over their arch-rivals, enabling Plattsburgh to successfully defend its ECAC Division III Women’s West Hockey Tournament title at the Stafford Ice Arena.
Plattsburgh also earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
“It was a great hockey game,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “The girls battled back and showed a lot of determination.”
The two teams entered the third period tied at 2.
The Soaring Eagles, however, took their first lead of the game when Erin Weston found the back of the net at the 3:41 mark. Her shot from near the slot was deflected past Plattsburgh goalie Sydney Aveson.
The three goals allowed on Sunday are the most scored in any game against the top-ranked Cardinals (25-1-1) all season.
But, if anything, Elmira’s goal seemed to make Plattsburgh even more determined.
The Cardinals drew even at 7:03 when Stewart scored off assists from Allison Era and Julia Duquette.
“I got a nice pass from Allison and nobody was around me in the middle of the ice,” Stewart said. “It was exciting and brought positive energy — we were all riled up on the bench. We were able to dig in deep.”
Then, less than three minutes later, at 9:48, Gove tallied the game-winning goal off a pass from Morgan MacInnis.
“Morgan worked hard down low on the play and was able to get the puck across to me in front,” Gove said. “I was there to tap it in.”
Plattsburgh played well with the lead in the final minutes and Elmira (21-5-1) had a difficult time pulling goalie Lisa Marshall for an extra attacker.