With 4:49 left in overtime, Allison Era's shot sailed through a screen and into the back of the net to lift the Plattsburgh State women's hockey team to a hard-fought 1-0 win over St. Thomas in the NCAA Semifinals Friday afternoon at the Stafford Ice Arena.
The Cardinals (27-1-) came out firing, outshooting the Tommies (20-6-3) by a 19-5 margin through one period of play, but St. Thomas goaltender Alise Riedel answered the call every single time to keep Plattsburgh State off the board.
A First Team All-American, Riedel put on a stellar performance in Friday's game, recording 63 saves in the loss to set a new record for single-game saves at the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championships.
Shots on goal favored the Cardinals, 64-30. Plattsburgh State went 1-for-7 on the power play while St. Thomas was 0-for-2 on the night.
Sydney Aveson improved to 21-1-1 on the year, turning away all 30 shots she faced to earn her 14th shutout of the season and set a new NCAA single-season shutout record.
The Cardinals will be making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship game and first since 2008. Saturday's showdown will mark just the second time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament with the Cadets earning a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals in the 2010 NCAA Division III Quarterfinals. Plattsburgh State owns a 5-4-1 all-time record against Norwich.
The Norwich University women's ice hockey team is headed to its fourth NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey National Championship game following a 4-2 victory over UW-River Falls in the national semifinals on Friday night at Stafford Ice Arena.
The Cadets (27-3-0) got goals from four different skaters while junior goalie Taylor Fairchild (Overland Park, Kan.) made 34 saves as Norwich extended its program-record winning streak to 18 straight games and advance to its fourth national championship game appearance in the last five seasons.
Taylor Fairchild won her ninth straight start to improve to 15-2-0 on the season and keep Norwich's perfect record alive in national semifinal game appearances. Kuechle finished with 23 saves for the Falcons to fall to 18-3-3.
Norwich will now face Lake Champlain-rival Plattsburgh State (27-1-1) in the 2014 NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey National Championship game at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
The Cadets lost both times to Plattsburgh this season by scores of 6-0, including in their season opener at Kreitzberg Arena on Nov. 2. Plattsburgh leads the all-time series 5-4-1, including three wins in a row.
Courtesy: Plattsburgh & Norwich Athletics
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