MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Top seeded Morrisville State College women's ice hockey made program and conference history Sunday afternoon, as they claimed the 2018 Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) Championship Title and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Program with a 3-2 hard fought overtime win over second seeded Endicott College on the Mustangs home ice in Morrisville.
The Mustangs will learn their opponent in the tournament Monday morning as the selection show is scheduled to air at 10 a.m.
As predicted, the contest was a back and forth affair and needed extra time to decide the winner. Endicott was first to strike midway through the opening period, as Michaela McNamara put the puck over the shoulder of Morrisville State's goaltender, Karoline Arvik (Trondheim, Norway) on the one-timer from Madison Huber.
That lead withstood until the 5:30 mark in the second period, when Morrisville State's Maria deWilde (Caistorville, Ontario) moved the puck to defenseman Kimberly Hughes (Lloydminster, Alberta) who slapped in a tying score from the right side of the blue line past Gulls netminder Vendela Jonsson.
With 4:54 to go in the period, Jillian Gibbs had a breakaway alone against Arvik, but Ciara Lark (Mildmay, Ontario) streaked in from the right and broke up the scoring opportunity for Endicott as she extended her stick from just behind the play to knock it out of reach.
Endicott took the lead 3:24 into the third period with a power play score as Gibbs collected her 13th of the season on the loose puck in front of net. Meaghan Farragher and McNamara collected assists.
Keeping persistent in their offensive attack on net, Morrisville State's Alexziz Giannamore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) got a stick on an initial shot by Jessica Ujcik (Munich, Germany) for the tip over the glove of Jonsson, evening the contest for a second time at the 10:12 mark.
Morrisville State had the chance to collect the go ahead tally with 5:13 to go as Giannamore had a breakaway and attempted to net a score with the backhanded shot, but Jonsson was there to turn the Mustangs away and force the overtime period.
In the extra frame both teams exchanged possession of the puck early on with both goaltenders making stops, but Endicott had the advantage at the 5:45 mark as Morrisville State was whistled for a tripping penalty. The Gulls had three chances to put one in the net, but Arvik came up big with two stops to keep the Mustangs alive.
Late in the period, Morrisville State again was called for a tripping penalty, and again Arvik came up huge for the defending champions, turning away four straight Endicott shots to keep the Gulls at bay.
With under 2:20 to go in the overtime frame, Ujcik collected her own rebound off the pad save from Jonsson, and moved the puck behind the net before dishing it to a wide open Ts'Setkwu Dunstan (Kamloops, British Columbia) for the wrist flick over the pad of Jonsson for the sudden victory and second straight Morrisville State title.
Jonsson finished with 37 stops, including 17 in the third period in the loss for the Gulls.
Arvik, posted 35 saves in net for the Mustangs, eight in the overtime period alone, to earn the tournament's Most Valuable Player accolades.
Hughes, Giannamore, and Dunstan were recognized with All-Tournament honors, along with Endicott's Lauren Ferraiuolo and Lexi Klein.
This is the second time Morrisville State and Endicott have met in the conference championship final.
The full selection show can be seen at 10 a.m. ET on www.ncaa.com.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.