SAN JOSE, CA – The Potsdam Ice Storm 16U Girls advanced to the championship game and the St. Lawrence Thunder 14U girls reached the semi-finals of their respective USA Hockey Tier II National Championship tournaments on Saturday.
The Ice Storm reached the semi-final round with a 6-2 win over the Arizona She Wolves in their quarter-final matchup before going on to down the East Coast Wizards 3-2 in the semis. The Thunder, meanwhile, continued their comeback from an opening-day loss by outlasting the Cape Cod Storm 4-3 in six overtimes for their third straight win.
Ice Storm 3, East Coast 2: The Ice Storm opened the scoring when Natalie Giglio broke through for an unassisted goal with 2:18 left in the first period. The Wizards tied the game 3:09 into the second period on a goal by Erica Lissner but the Ice Storm regained the lead three minutes later when Kalie Grant converted off an assist from Ally Miller.
Miller then put Potsdam ahead 3-1 at the 7:59 mark of the third period assisted by Grant before the Wizards pulled back to within one with a shorthanded goal scored by Jessica Pirachini with just 1:22 left in reglation.
Maddi Dillabough handled 26 shots working the crease for the win while Izabella Conforti made 19 saves in the losing effort.
The Wizards advanced to the semi-finals via a 7-1 win over the Chicago Bruins in their quarter-final round game. The San Jose Junior Sharks and the Vermont Shamrocks were due to meet in the other semi at 12:45 a.m. EDT. The winner of that game takes on the Ice Storm in the National Championship Game today starting at 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Ice Storm 6, Arizona 2: In their quarter-final round matchup, the teams were tied at 1-1 late in the first period before the Ice Storm reeled off the next four goals of the game to take control.
Kirstin Barkley opened the scoring 8:10 into the game by finishing off a play set up by Grant and Lydia Cosgrove but the She Wolves pulled even at the 14:00 mark on a goal by Jessica Carter.
The Ice Storm regained the lead just 38 seconds later when Grant converted off an assist from Cosgrove, who pushed the lead to 3-1 just 1:04 into the second period off an assist from Kelsey Green. Barkley netted the fourth Potsdam goal at the 6:47 mark of the middle frame assisted by Grant. Miller put the Ice Storm ahead 5-1 assisted by Shannon Casey and Bailey Dillabough with 3:33 left before Jessica Cartwright broke through for the second Arizona goal just over a minute later.
Miller sealed the win with a shorthanded goal set up by Grant at 2:57 of the third period.
Allie Compeau had 12 saves backstopping the win while Jordan Nash-Boulden turned aside 35 of the shots she faced for the She Wolves, who advanced to the quarter-finals as the fourth seed from the National Division.
Thunder 4, Cape Cod 3 (6OT): At the 14U tournament, Maya Swamp ended a see-saw marathon when she connected off an assist from Abbie Paquin 2:36 into the sixth stage of overtime after the teams had battled to a 3-3 tie through more than 112 minutes of hockey.
The teams skated to a scoreless draw until Cape Cods Caroline Spalt struck at 1:54 of the second period. The Thunder countered with the next two goals, both while on the man-advantage. Katie MacCuaig tied the game assisted by Paquin at the 8:43 mark before Paquin finished off a play set up by Jayden Young and Swamp for the go-ahead goal at 10:32.
Spalt knotted the score at 2-2 with her second of the game just 29 seconds later and the Storm regained the lead 6:20 into the third period on a shorthanded goal by Caroline Peterson.
The Cape Cod lead held until Jordan Emerson notched an unassisted goal with 2:14 left in regulation to force and overtime session that saw the teams more than another 62 minutes of hockey before Swamps game-winner.
Sidney Molnar went the distance between the pipes in an incredible 51-save performance that included eight stops in the third overtime period. Olivia Sollows made nine saves through nearly 24 minutes before giving way to Marissa Anderson, who turned aside 41 shots over the final 89 minutes in taking the loss for the Storm, who advanced to the quarter-finals as the third seed from the National Division.
Guided by Renee Young, the Thunder 14U Girls were scheduled to face the Alaska All-Stars in the semi-finals starting at 12:45 a.m. EDT. Alaska beat the Naperville Sabres 5-1 in their quarter-final game. The other Tier II 14U semi-final saw the East Coast Wizards of Massachusetts take on the Connecticut Ice Cats.
The Tier II 14U Girls National Championship Game is slated for today at 3:15 p.m. EDT.