Mitch's Sports Report: Plattsburgh Women Set New Record For Consecutive D-III National Hockey Titles
The Plattsburgh State Cardinals are champions of women's division three hockey for a record breaking fourth time in a row, but they were less than a minute away from having that streak snapped in Michigan last night.
Senior Erin Brand was the hero for Plattsburgh, putting home the game winner ten minutes into the overtime period. But it was another Plattsburgh senior, Julia Duquette, who made Brand's overtime heroics possible, because here's how close Adrian college was to an upset of the Cardinals. Adrian had a 3-2 lead with just 21 seconds left in regulation AND was just finishing up a power play, when Duquette picked up the puck at center ice, raced around a Bulldog defender and put home a wrist shot to tie the game at three. With the win, Plattsburgh becomes the first division three women's to win four consecutive national titles, breaking the tie with Middlebury, the team that won three in a row from 2004 to 2006.
Even though the Norwich women were beaten by Plattsburgh Friday night to end their season, the Norwich men are still alive and with a chance to win the nation championship after Kevin Salvucci scored twice to lead Norwich to a 6-2 win over Hamilton on Saturday night, advancing the Cadets to the Frozen Four in division three men's hockey.
Over the weekend the CVU became champions of division one in girl's high school basketball for the fifth consecutive time. The Redhawks beat top-seeded St. Johnsbury 36-33 Saturday night at Patrick Gymnasium, and the five state titles in a row matches the mark set by Essex in the 1990's.
A different experience for Lyndon, as the division two crown was claimed by the Vikings for the first time in school history, following a convincing 40-15 win over Mill River at Barre Auditorium. Like the Redhawk's win, this was a two-seed toppling a number one seed to claim the crown.
It was a much close contest in the division three state final, a game that saw Thetford come back from a 15 point deficit with less than six minutes to go in regulation, storming back for a 53-52 win over Windsor. Regan Covey scored the inning bucket on a lay-up with just six seconds to go to complete the Panther comeback, the biggest of her 23 points on the night. Windsor forward Olivia Rockwood led all scorers with 30 points for Windsor in the heartbreaking loss.
And in division four it's all about three. Meaning three state titles in a row for Mount St. Joseph, as the Mounties topped West Rutland 50-36 behind 17 points from Jenna Eaton.
To the pros, and in the NHL the Montreal Canadiens have now sent a clear message to the Ottawa Senators: You guys are welcome to second place in the Atlantic, but we're going to hold on to first. The Habs have now beaten the Senators in back to back contests, needing overtime to do it in Ottawa, but needing only the world's best goalie to put a 4-1 win in the bank last night at home in the Bell Centre. Carey Price made some jaw dropping saves out of his 30 total in last night's win. Jordie Benn, Tomas Plekanec, Paul Byron and Nathan Beaulieu tallied for Montreal, opening up a four-point lead for first place in the Atlantic over Ottawa.
Tonight in Toronto, there's a big game for the visiting Boston Bruins and hometown Maple Leafs. Toronto currently has a precarious hold on the last available wild card spot in the eastern division with 79 points, but they're just three points behind the Bruins for the safer third place spot in the Atlantic division. The Bruins are coming off a western Canada road trip in which they won two of three, but in spite of their great run since Bruce Cassidy took over the head coaching duties, the Bruins are still facing critical games like tonight's down the stretch that will determine whether they can break their string of back to back no shows in the playoffs. The Maple Leafs are sporting a rejuvenated team led by youngsters like the mercurial Auston Matthews and just getting back to the playoffs would be considered a successful season for both clubs, although leafs fans are looking for the team's first Stanley Cup since 1967, the longest drought for any original six NHL team.
Finally, in the World Baseball Classic, team USA booked a spot in the semi-finals, eliminating the Dominican Republic over the weekend. The US will take on Japan in the Final Four on Tuesday.