CLAYTON – Both teams got what they wanted from the Girls High School Hockey Championship Game on Saturday at the Clayton Arena.
We knew it was going to be close. Everyone on both sides gave a great effort the whole game. Both teams played well. Both teams had their chances and both goalies came up big when they needed to, said Potsdam Central coach Joe Stark after his squad battled to a 2-2 tie through four overtimes to earn a share of the 2014 state playoff title.
We played five full periods of hockey and you could see the players were exhausted at the end, he added. Weve come a long way as a team since our first practice. We didnt get the win but were still state champions. Ill take it.
With the extended draw, the Lady Sandstoners captured a third tournament title in three years while Skaneateles came away with its first-ever state girls hockey championship.
We came here to win a championship and thats what were leaving with, said Lakers coach Michael Major, whose team advanced to the title game by knocking off defending champion Beekmantown 6-2 on Friday. After the fourth overtime the girls skated to the bench. They wanted to keep going.
It was a great game. Everyone that was here definitely got their moneys worth, he added.
After a scoreless first period, the Lady Lakers (15-3-2) opened the scoring just 2:34 into the second when senior Sarah Sauda wristed a shot from the right wing just inside the far post for an unassisted goal.
The Lady Sandstoners pulled even just before the end of the second period when senior Meg Plumb controlled loose puck at centerice and quickly sent a pass ahead to junior Kalie Grant, who broke down the left wing then toward goal before centering the puck to senior Ally Miller who made no mistake one-timing a low shot just inside the near post with 1:22 remaining.
Potsdam took its only lead of the game with 4:44 left in regulation after eighth-grader Hannah Dreschel worked the puck free along the left boards in the defensive zone while killing a penalty. Grant turned the turnover into a breakaway that ended with her sliding a low shot past senior netminder Amanda Lupo from close range for a shorthanded goal.
I have to give Kalie Grant a lot of credit. She banged up her shoulder in the game Friday night and she was operating at about 50 percent today. For her to make the play she did to set up the first goal and then go down and finish the breakaway for the second, really showed a lot of character on her part, Stark noted.
But soon after the ensuing face-off, the Lady Sandstoners were whistled for another penalty and faced a two-player disadvantage. As the first penalty ended, freshman Sophie Kush sent a shot toward goal from the right point leading to a goalmouth scramble that ended with junior Claire Michel stuffing a rebound into the back of the net just 25 seconds after Potsdam had taken the lead.
The Lady Sandstoners went on to outshoot the Lady Lakers 17-12 in overtime but neither team broke the plane through the additional 30 minutes that were played as Lupo and Potsdam freshman Sidney Molnar capably handled all the shots they faced.