Women’s hockey eliminated from O’Brien Cup in OT

Late timeout in mini-game produces tying goal
Late timeout in mini-game produces tying goal

ADRIAN, Mich. – The No.9 women's hockey team (20-6-1) were 24 minutes away from advancing to the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association semi-finals until the Pointers (12-12-3) scored with less than four minutes in the second period to give them a 2-1 win and force a deciding mini-game.

In the mini-game, where actually player statistics are not official, Hannah Smith pounced on a rebound and scored 5:56 into overtime to advance Stevens Point with a 2-1 overtime win.

After the Bulldogs won the first playoff-game in overtime the night before, a tie or win would have advanced them to the next round of O'Brien Cup play. A loss would force a winner-take-all mini-game.

Things started out promising for Adrian when Danielle Smith opened the scoring less than five minutes into the contest for an early Bulldogs lead, 1-0. Smith's 17th goal of the season was assisted by Kelsey Kusch and Devyn Fitzhenry.

Stevens Point would respond to tie the game with under five minutes left in the first and would score the lone goal of the second period for a 2-1 lead. With no scoring in the third period, the 2-1 final held up and would tie the playoff series at one game apiece and force a third and deciding mini-game of one 20-minute regulation period followed by successive 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods (if necessary).

In the regulation period of the mini-game, the Pointers would score early. The goal looked like it would stand to advance the Pointers until Adrian called a timeout late in the regulation period. Shortly thereafter, Courtney Millar gave the Bulldogs the tying goal with about four minutes left in the regulation period of the min-game. The 1-1 tie after the regulation period sent the game to sudden-death overtime.

Into the first overtime of the mini-game, Michelle Lunnebor took a feed at the Adrian blueline and went in alone on Brittany Zeches. Zeches made a game-saving stop, but in the process of cutting the shooter's angle wasn't able to recover back to the net before the Pointers scored on the rebound. The goal would advance Stevens Point to the next playoff round.

Officially, Stevens Point outshot Adrian in Game No. 2 of the series, 43-35. Zeches finished the night with 41 saves.

The team now awaits the outcome of other teams for an at-large bid to the nationals.

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