June 15, 2014

Utica and Oswego to face off in Carrier Dome Classic

More news about: Oswego State | Utica

Compiled by D3hockey.com staff

Utica College and Oswego State will take part in the Frozen Dome Classic November 22nd, as part of a trio of games hosted by the AHL's Syracuse Crunch.  

The Carrier Dome, typically the home for Syracuse's basketball teams, will play host to all three games with an anticipated seating capacity of over 30,000.

The Crunch will face off against the Utica Comets in the headline event, which will seek to break the AHL's indoor attendence record of 20,672 set in 1997.  The third game of the event will feature law enforcement agencies from Utica and Syracuse.

The games will be ticketed as a package deal, with one ticket granting admission to all three contests.  Tickets for Oswego fans go on sale on June 17th while general ticket sales begin on June 24th.

Utica and Oswego have finished first and second respectively in attendance in each of the past seven seasons.

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March 23, 2014

Plattsburgh claims third national title in dominating fashion

More news about: Norwich | Plattsburgh State

by Peter Langella

PLATTSBUGH, N.Y. – The best team won.  After beating Norwich twice during the regular season by identical 6-0 scores, SUNY Plattsburgh, ranked in the top spot of the D3hockey.com poll for the entire season, defeated Norwich again - this time 9-2 en route to the school’s 3rd National Championship, and first since 2008.

Senior co-captains Chelsea VanGlahn and Jordan Caldwell and sophomore Bridget Balisy each scored two goals, and Plattsburgh (28-1-1), playing on home ice at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, treated the mostly red-clad capacity crowd of 1,619 to the largest margin of victory in women’s championship game history. Amherst held the previous record, also against Norwich, winning 7-2 in 2010.

Norwich scored first, but Plattsburgh scored often - finishing with a record nine goals in the championship game. 
Photo: Peter Langella 

“I don’t want to say it was a perfect game, but it was an unbelievable game by our team,” said Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle, voted by his peers as National Coach of the Year. “From day one they’ve been on a mission to win a national championship. I think it’s the best team we’ve had. It’s a team, it really is. Everyone contributes. It’s a balanced attack. They’re a pleasure to coach every day.”

They’re a great team,” added Norwich head coach Mark Bolding. “They’re a true talented, well-oiled machine. It’s the opponent we wanted because you want to play the best.”

Norwich (27-4-0) got on the board first when junior forward Madyson Moore broke the early gridlock midway through the opening period after streaking through the Plattsburgh defense and beating Cardinal senior goaltender and Laura Hurd Award recipient Sydney Aveson through the five-hole to give the Cadets the 1-0 lead.

That was the only bright spot in the first period for the visitors from Norwich, however, as Plattsburgh poured on the offense and pumped in four consecutive goals over the next eight minutes to close out the first frame up 4-1.

“We were able to forecheck and work the puck down low, and we were able to get a lot of shots on net,” said Caldwell, a huge smile on her face. “Since you’re six years-old you want to win a championship. Once you get to college, it’s a national championship. To reach that goal is amazing.”

Balisy started the Cardinal onslaught at 9:57 of the period, connecting on the short side from a bad angle on an assist from junior forward Shannon Stewart.

Freshman defenseman Julia Duquette was next, firing a low shot through the legs of Norwich junior goalie Taylor Fairchild, who was severely screened by traffic in front. VanGlahn and senior Ali Vakos assisted on the play.

It was VanGlahn’s turn to light the lamp after that, converting a rebound on junior forward Tyne Gove’s shot. Vakos picked up her second of three assists on the tally.

“Every step of the way, we met our goals,” VanGlahn said. “We dug down deep with passion and got what we wanted.”

Norwich coach Mark Bolding pulled Fairchild after the play, opting to go with junior Loren Carrier for the rest of the game.

“With Plattsburgh, you gotta do something quick,” Bolding said. “Step one, goalie change; try to gain some momentum.”

But Plattsburgh’s run continued, scoring on just their second shot against the new keeper. It was Balisy again, this time breaking in alone and leaving no doubt, beating Carrier with a crossbar-and-down rocket to the top glove side.

The period ended with the Cards outshooting the Cadets 19-9 and carrying all of the momentum.

Norwich came out strong in the second period, generating a number of chances, but Aveson, who entered the game with a mind-blowing 0.51 GAA and .973 save percentage, helped them to weather the storm.

“My goal as a Cardinal was to improve every day,” Aveson said. “My teammates pushed me every day since I was a freshman. You can’t improve if you’re not challenged by teammates in practice. All of the records I have are team oriented.”

Then, at 8:11 of the second frame, Balisy fired a shot from fifty feet out that deflected off of a Norwich defender and right onto the stick of Caldwell, who hammered home her thirteenth goal of the season to extend the Plattsburgh lead to 5-1.

The Cards continued their strong play and hemmed Norwich in their own zone for much of the remainder of the period, building their shot advantage to 38-15 through two frames.           

“We just weren’t sharp enough,” Bolding said. “Plattsburgh took away our passing lanes. We couldn’t get through clean enough when it was 3-1, and then great teams make you pay. You have to tip your hat to them. I’m not sure I’ve seen a team like this. This team is almost spotless.”

VanGlahn scored her second just 2:33 into the final period on what looked like a kicked puck.

“I’m not sure what happened,” she said. “I just went to the net hard and it went in.”

It was called a good goal and the rout was on. Senior forward Jenny Kristner ripped a shot high on the blocker side four minutes later to extend the Cardinal lead to 7-1.

Norwich struggled to find an answer for Aveson, who finished with 37 saves, despite getting nearly four minutes of five-on-three powerplay time and 24 shots on goal in the third. One glove save during the man advantage brought the crowd to its feet in a standing ovation that all but ended any chance the Cadets might have had.

“The positive response is that we didn’t quit,” Bolding said. “Imagine having a senior group that has two silvers and a gold,” which refers to their finish in the last four tournaments including this one, winning their program’s only title over RIT in 2011. “That’s pretty good.”

Norwich senior All-American Torrie Charron elaborated on how she feels about her teammates, despite the loss: “I’d rather never win a national championship than play with any other team than this. Coming [to Norwich] is the best decision I’ve ever made.”

“Norwich worked hard,” Houle said. “They have a great team over there. We just seem to match up well against them. A goal or a bounce here or there, and then we capitalized.”

Plattsburgh’s Caldwell scored her second at 16:39, Norwich senior forward Haley Gibson scored one for the Cadets at18:26, and Vakos capped the scoring in the final minute on a blazing rush for her fourth point and an exclamation point on the 9-2 win. 

“There’s no better feeling in the world,” Aveson said. “Being a senior, it’s bittersweet. I felt myself tearing up with about ten minutes left, but then I controlled myself and started having fun.”

“We have the best fans here in Plattsburgh,” VanGlahn added. “I wouldn’t want it any other way; with 27 sisters out there with me.”

The Cardinals outshot the Cadets 49-39 on the evening. Plattsburgh went 0-1 on the powerplay, while Norwich went 0-5.

Plattsburgh reached the NCAA Tournament after winning the ECAC-West regular season and playoff championship, and then beating Williams and St. Thomas in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. It was the Cardinals’ third straight trip to the Frozen Four, having placed third in each of the last two seasons.

This season ended with a win as well, but it was finally in the game that the senior class had set its sights on.

Chelsea VanGlahn summed it up: “Like Coach said, we were on a mission.”

What a mission it was.

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March 22, 2014

Frozen Four notebook

More news about: St. Norbert | UW-Stevens Point

by Ray Biggs
D3hockey.com

 

All Tournament Team

Following the conclusion of the national championship game, the all-tournament team was announced  as follows: 

Forward: Joe Perry, St. Norbert
Forward: Joe Kalisz, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Forward: Shawn Hulshof, Oswego State
Defenseman: Marian Fiala, St. Norbert
Defenseman: Kyle Brodie, Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Goaltender: David Jacobson, St. Norbert

Most Outstanding Player: Joe Perry, St. Norbert

 

They Love Their Hockey Here

Lewiston wasn't the only city happy to see NCAA championship weekend come to the area.

Jonathan Labonte, mayor of nearby Auburn, believes it's another chance to showcase the region's already rich hockey tradition. The Colisee' is also the home of the AHL's Portland Pirates on a temporary basis, and features championship high school hockey on a regular basis, with crowds numbering close to 3,000. 

"Lewiston and Auburn have been hockey towns for a long time. We have a strong french canadian  presence here, the arena was built by a catholic parish. It's a good chance to show people from all over the country that Lewiston and Auburn love hockey and we'll support it,” Labonte said. 


Home Cookin' is Served

Although all three games this weekend were neutral site games, it could be said that home ice advantage did exist when you consider how the games unfolded. During the 2014 championship weekend, the home team in each game was victorious. Furthermore, the designated home team trailed for just 8:49 of game time on the weekend.

 

Fear the Beard

With a beard that would make many an NHL'er jealous, David Jacobson became the first Green Knight goaltender to win multiple national titles.
Photo: Eric Gulseth 

 Beyond his absolutely stellar play, the other thing that stood out about St. Norbertgoaltender David Jacobson was his absolutely remarkable beard. But, unlike many we see at this time of year, this was far more than just a playoff beard. Jacobson claims he began growing the beard, which is approximately three inches in length, at the very beginning of the season. It wouldn't hurt to do so next year, as Jacobson has one more year to pursue a third national title. 

 

Not Just for Pitchers

 In a Division 3 college hockey season, the twenty win plateau is always a good target to shoot for if you're a goaltender. In the semifinal round, Stevens Point goaltender Brandon Jaeger picked up his 20th victory of the season, becoming the first Pointer goalie to do so since Bob Gould in the 1999-2000 campaign. 

In the opposite crease, Jacobson is no stranger to winning twenty games either. The Green Knight goalie has done so in back to back seasons, going 24-1-1 this season in 26 starts. The 24 victories marks a career high for Jacobson. 

 

They're Killin' It Out There

 The two teams that met in the final had many things in common: Their state of origin, the conference they played in for many years together, and multiple national titles to their credit. But another common bond that St. Norbert and Stevens Point shared this weekend was fine penalty killing. The two teams finished a combined 0-for-8 on the power play in Saturday's championship game, and Stevens Point did not allow a power play goal all weekend. 

 

Don't Blink

When two top teams get together, the potential always exists for records to be broken. This weekend was no different, as St. Norbert's Joe Perry and Erik Cooper scored just eleven seconds apart to set a new record for shortest time between goals in an NCAA final. The 2013 Oswego State Lakers were the previous record holders at 31 seconds, with Bobby Gertsakis and Chris Muise scoring the goals.

 

Approach the Bench

In the decisive first period of the National Championship game, St. Norbert scored two goals on 22 attempted shots, with 21 coming from the right wing side. The right side was also the same side where the St. Norbert bench was located. 

 

Is this trophy made of cheese?

St. Norbert and Stevens Point aren't the only ones from Wisconsin having success. The Wisconsin-Whitewater men's basketball team took home a national title on Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball team moves on to the NCAA sweet sixteen, and the Wisconsin men's hockey team took home the Big Ten championship this weekend.

 

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