Coming down to the final day for first round home ice: Potsdam, Utica play to 4-4 tie in playoff-like atmosphere
Through an overtime session and 65 minutes of play, the Bears simply would not go away.
Needing a win to secure its first home playoff game in program history, the SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team battled back against Utica College Saturday afternoon at Maxcy Ice Arena on Senior Day.
Each time the Pioneers took the lead, the Bears responded with a goal of their own.
Utica took 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 leads, but a Potsdam goal always followed a Utica goal.
The stubbornness of each team is fitting in that the teams have assured that they will face other in an ECAC West first round playoff game in a No. 4 and No. 5 seed matchup. The only question lies whether Potsdam or Utica will host the game on Saturday, March 1.
The destination of either Potsdam's Maxcy Ice Arena or the Utica's Memorial Auditorium will be decided in the regular season finale between the teams Sunday at 4 p.m. from the Aud.
Utica (15-8-1, 8-6-1 ECAC West) nursed a 3-2 lead after two intermissions when the Pioneers received goals from junior Louise Steele-Norton and freshman Victoria Pelton.
But, Potsdam (12-8-4, 7-4-4 ECAC West) knotted it up at 3 when freshman Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y. / Rochester Edge) scored 6:08 into the third period on a feeds from Brittany Lucky (Kanata, Ontario / Ottawa Senators) and Amanda Lucky (Kanata, Ontario / Clarkson University).
Utica senior assistant captain Megan Myers, who entered as the Pioneers' leader in goals, assists, points, and game-winning goals, put the Pioneers back on top 4-3 at 12:46 into the third period on an assist from Steele-Norton.
In dramatic fashion, Ott came back just 1:30 later with her third goal of the game. It marks the second time this season that the forward has recorded a hat trick (Jan. 19 at Neumann University).
Ott, who has had a school record-breaking season for most goals as a rookie with 22 goals, notched her first goal on a pretty cross feed from senior assistant captain Amanda Lucky with 6:19 remaining in the first. Ott now has 34 points on the season.
Amanda Lucky had three assists while junior captain Izzy Fayerman (Calgary, Alberta / The Edge) picked up her eighth goal of the season in the second period.
Brittany Lucky picked her third assist of the game on that play and Jessica Silveira (Brampton, Ontario / Brampton Thunder) also recorded an assist for her team-leading 23rd on the season. Silveira now has 33 points.
Sophomore goaltender Alexane Rodrigue (Monkland, Ontario / Bemidji State) made 41 saves and moved her record 10-4-4. Pioneers counterpart Jennifer Hamel made 28 saves and moved her record to 11-8-1.
The Pioneers struck almost immediately out of the gate with a goal by freshman forward Emily Coope just 2:20 into the first period on a scramble rebound on the near side of the net. Senior assistant captain Megan Myers and junior Louise Steele-Norton were credited with assists.
Steele-Norton had a goal and two assists while Myers had a goal and an assist for Utica.