Elmira Takes Tough Win Over Trinity In NCAA Women's Ice Hockey 1st Round
Pine Valley, N.Y. – Freshman Jill DeBus (Howard, Mich.) scored the game-winning goal on a redirection in the final minute of the second period to lead the Elmira College Soaring Eagles to a 2-1 win over the visiting Trinity College Bantams in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament at Murray Athletics Center this afternoon. Trinity closes its best-ever season with a 21-5-2 record, while Elmira improves to 23-4-1 and advances to its third straight and sixth overall NCAA Division III Frozen Four next weekend against Norwich University in Minnesota.
"I am very proud of how hard we played in our first taste of NCAA competition against one of the traditional powerhouses of the sport," stated Trinity Head Coach Andrew McPhee. "The game came down to special teams. They scored twice on redirected pucks and their goalie played well down the stretch. This is a season that I will never forget."
Trinity sophomore forward Celia Colman-McGaw (Manchester, Conn.) got the Bantams off to a great start, scoring on a rebound 34 seconds into the game. Junior defender Laura Komarek (Plymouth, Minn.) sent the initial shot at Soaring Eagle freshman goalie Lauren Sullivan (Toronto, Ontario) and took a second off the rebound that was also stopped by Sullivan before Colman-McGaw streaked in from the right side for the tally.
Elmira increased its intensity and offensive pressure in the second half, and tied the score on the power play at the 8:13 mark when sophomore forward Alexandra Bresler (Golden, Colo.) redirected a slapshot from just outside the right face-off circle by freshman defender Madison Johnson (Toronto, Ontario). DeBus' gamewinner occurred two seconds after another Soaring Eagle power play had ended, as she skated past the Bantam defense to get her stick on a puck that had been shot from the point by senior forward Lauren DePaul (Liverpool, N.Y.).
"Trinity executed its game plan very well, and made it difficult for us on offense," said Elmira Head Coach Greg Fargo. DeBus added, "We knew we would have to get traffic in front of the net because of how good their goalie is."
Trinity had a pair of power-play opportunities of its own in the second and third periods, but Sullivan and the Elmira defense held firm. The Bantams came closest to tying the score several times in the two minutes, despite playing 5-on-5 with the goalie pulled for over 30 seconds during a late penalty kill. Sullivan stopped a clear shot by Bantam junior forward Jill Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) from 12 feet in front of her in the final 30 seconds, and Elmira survived a melee as the Bantams frantically tried to stuff in a loose puck in front of the Soaring Eagle net as time expired. Senior goaltender Isabel Iwachiw (New York, N.Y.) finished with 22 saves and Sullivan had 23 stops, including 11 in the third period, for the Soaring Eagles.