BY RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — PLATTSBURGH — In 18 of its first 20 games, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team scored two or more goals in a period.
Saturday night, however, it needed to do so in the final 20 minutes of regulation to keep its unbeaten streak in tact.
The No. 1-ranked Cardinals (19-0-2, 11-0-1 ECAC West) received third-period markers from Chelsea VanGlahn and Shannon Stewart, erasing a 3-1 Utica College lead, for a 3-3 tie at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.
“We’re upset that we didn’t come out the way we wanted to,” coach Kevin Houle said. “Though, we were happy with the effort from the second half of the game on to battle back and tie it up. It would have been a tough loss.
“We’ve been able to battle back all year, and we were able to do that again (Saturday), but we certainly need to come out quicker. We just can’t let teams take the game to us, which is what Utica did.”
After Teal Gove netted a goal on the game’s first shot at 18 seconds, the Pioneers (10-6-2, 8-3-2 ECAC West) rallied for three unanswered during a 15 minute and 19-second span.
Brittany Dellechiaie cashed in on a two-on-zero opportunity at 8:39 of the first period before Mary Fusco and Louise Steele-Norton helped extend the differential to 3-1, forcing Houle to use his timeout at 3:58 of the second.
“I mean, you just have to regroup at that point in time,” Houle said. “I made a couple of adjustments, and the girls realized what was at stake and went out and played hard. Fortunately, we were able to get those two goals and tie it up.”
Facing their third deficit after the second period all year, VanGlahn cut the differential to one with a shot from the low slot that slipped past Utica goaltender Jennifer Hamel.
Then, with 4:37 remaining in regulation, Stewart tallied her team-leading 19th goal of the season by punching home a loose puck just outside the crease.
The Pioneers held a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal in the overtime period, but neither team was able to convert.
Utica finished 1-for-1 on the one-man advantage, while Plattsburgh was 0-for-4.
Sydney Aveson, who was honored with the Fan Favorite award before the contest, fended off 16 of 19 shots faced between the pipes. Hamel was credited with 30 saves on 33 shots.
Stewart, Hamel and VanGlahn were honored as the game’s three stars.
The Cardinals and Pioneers will conclude this weekend’s two-game series today at 3 p.m.
“We need come out and play with intensity and confidence,” Houle said. “We knew they were fast and they would come at us. They came in here with everything to gain and nothing to lose. There are no guarantees — we have to come out and earn it.”
Plattsburgh State 3,
Utica College 3 (OT)
Utica 1 2 0 0 — 3
Plattsburgh 1 0 2 0 — 3
First period- 1, PSU, Gove (Stewart), 0:18. 2, UC, Dellechiaie (Johnson), 8:39. Penalties: Ziesmann, PSU (interference), 19:49.
Second period- 3, UC, Fusco (McMahon), 1:38 (pp). 4, UC, Steele-Norton (Dowdall), 3:58. Penalties: Johnson, UC (tripping), 12:37. Maines, UC (hooking), 17:03.
Third period- 5, PSU, VanGlahn (Senese), 7:53. 6, PSU, Stewart (Gove), 15:23. Penalties: Johnson, UC (body checking), 4:36. Pucci, UC (high-sticking), 5:19.
Shots on goal:
Utica 8 3 4 4 — 19
Plattsburgh 7 10 14 2 — 33
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Hamel, UC, 33-30. Aveson, PSU, 19-16.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Utica 1-1; Plattsburgh 0-4.