Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD – Plattsburgh State senior forward Dillan Fox scored 4:15 into overtime to lift the Cardinals to a dramatic 6-5 win over the Norwich University men’s ice hockey team in the 2015 PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut title game on Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
Fox scored his fifth goal of the season off an assist from Luke Baleshta, beating Norwich goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) glove side to lift Plattsburgh State (8-0-0, 5-0-0 SUNYAC) to its fifth PrimeLink ShootOut title and second in the last three seasons.
Baleshta outmuscled an NU defender for the puck in the Norwich zone and then threw a backhand pass from the top of the right faceoff circle while falling down. He found a wide open Fox, who wristed the shot past Ostepchuk to stun the loud home crowd after Norwich (7-2-0, 5-1-0 NEHC) had rallied back from down 5-2 to tie it in the third period. Fox was named the tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal and Plattsburgh’s first goal as well.
Norwich took a 2-0 lead only to have Plattsburgh rally back and score five unanswered goals to take a 5-2 lead by the 7:14 mark of the second period. Plattsburgh’s fifth goal by Pat Egan prompted NU to pull starting goalie Ty Reichenbach (Billings, Mont.) in favor of Ostepchuk, who played the rest of the way and the overtime.
The Cadets jumped out to the early lead with Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) scoring his first of the night at the 6:47 mark assists from Anthony Flaherty (South Boston, Mass.) and Tyler Piacentini (South Weymouth, Mass.). Flaherty slid the puck over from the left wing on a late-developing 2-on-1 in the zone and Salvucci took care of the rest flipping the puck into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0 Norwich.
Norwich added to the lead at the 11:03 mark with Connor Evangelista (Middletown, Mass.) scoring his first career goal after his shot deflected off a Plattsburgh defender’s skate and beat Spencer Finney five-hole to make it 2-0 Cadets.
Plattsburgh started its run of five straight unanswered at the 18:43 mark of the first period with Fox scoring an incredible goal, stickhandling through and splitting two NU defenders before flipping the puck top shelf on his backhand into the net to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Cardinals knotted the game up at 2-2, scoring with 0.4 seconds left in the first period when Kevin Emmerling notching his eighth of the year on a rebound in front of the net after two initial saves by Reichenbach stuffed Matt Quilty and Anthony Calabrese.
Plattsburgh kept its foot on the gas to start the second period, scoring three more times in a span of 4:27 to build up a 5-2 lead. Aryton Valente, Michael Radisa and Pat Egan each scored goals for the Cardinals as they took complete control of the momentum in the game.
Valente tapped home a redirect into the bottom left corner of the net off a pass from Quilty from the top of the right faceoff circle to give Plattsburgh its first lead of the game at the 2:47 mark of the second period.
Radisa made it 4-2 Plattsburgh by tipping in a shot short side past Reichenbach after Stallard threw the puck at the net from the far half boards.
Egan capped the Plattsburgh offensive explosion with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that evaded Reichenbach’s glove and pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 5-2. Kyle Hall and Stallard picked up assists on the goal.
NU sophomore forward Justin Charbonneau (Bromont, Quebec) finally ended Plattsburgh’s unanswered goal streak with his first goal of the season at the 15:06 mark of the second period to cut the deficit back down to 5-3. Charbonneau sent a turnaround wrist shot in on net that beat Finney who was screened by traffic in front of the net. Austin Surowiec (Louisville, Ky.) picked up the assist on the goal after winning a battle in the corner.
At the 5:57 mark of the third period, Salvucci continued his unbelievable to start to the season, notching his second of the night and ninth of the season on the power play with a rebound goal after Flaherty’s initial shot was saved by Finney. Piacentini also picked up the second assist for his 11th helper of the season.
Norwich tied the game up at the 12:57 mark of the third period with Nick Pichette (Massena, N.Y.) scoring on his backhand off a rebound when Finney couldn’t control the initial shot from Evangelista. Surowiec also picked up an assist on the goal which also came on the power play.
Norwich outshot Plattsburgh 30-28 and the Cadets went 3-for-6 on the power play, while the Cardinals were 2-for-6.
Finney made 25 saves to pick up the win for Plattsburgh. Ostepchuk made nine saves on 10 shots in relief for Norwich. Reichenbach made 13 saves before exiting in the second period.
Fox was named the Most Valuable Player, while Plattsburgh’s Cole Stallard was the Rookie of the Tournament. Valente and Quilty were also named to the All-Tournament team for Plattsburgh. Salvucci and Ostepchuk earned spots for Norwich and Conn. College’s Joe Birmingham rounded out the squad after scoring the game-winning goal in the Camels 1-0 win over Middlebury College in the consolation game.