Last-Second Goal, Penalty Shot Delivers Tigers OT Win at Mercyhurst

A Rally from two goals down, a goal with less than a second left in the game, and a penalty shot in overtime were all part of a wild 6-5 win for the Princeton Women’s hockey team in the first of a two-game weekend series at Mercyhurst Friday afternoon in Erie, Pa.

Princeton outshot the Lakers 83-27 overall and 49-15 on goal in the series opener. The teams will meet again Saturday in a 2 pm start.

Princeton opened the scoring when Daddy Wonder jammed in a rebound less than eight minutes into the game, and the 1-0 lead lasted into the final minute of the first period before Mercyhurst’s Thea Johannson turned a missed Tiger connection into a Breakaway to tie it up.

The tie lasted less than five minutes into the second period when Mercyhurst’s Kylee Mahoney cashed in a power-play goal, taking control of a puck in the faceoff circle to the left of the Tiger starting netminder Jennifer Olnowich and skating into the slot to send it in. Princeton tied it again when Sarah Fillier slapped home a one-timer in front of the crease just before the Midway point of the period to pull the Tigers level at 2-2.

Two Mercyhurst goals less than three minutes apart gave the Lakers what would be their largest lead of the game at 4-2. At the beginning of a 4-on-4 situation with less than eight minutes to go in the second period, Mercyhurst’s Vanessa Upson took control of a puck just inside the Lakers’ attacking zone and skated toward the goal line, firing a shot under the crossbar to put Mercyhurst in front. On a power-play chance with less than five minutes to go in the second period, Upson Struck again, sending a Puck towards the goal from behind the goal line, getting a friendly bounce to put the Lakers up two.

Mercyhurst’s two-goal lead lasted just 14 seconds. As the Lakers tried to clear the puck from Princeton’s attacking zone, an errant pass was instead found Katherine Khramtsov’s stick, and after Khramtsov put a shot on goal, Emma Kee had a rebound chance that found its way home, bringing Princeton within a goal with 4:18 to go before the second intermission with her first goal of the season. Less than three minutes later, it was Khramtsov’s turn to score, pulling Princeton even when she took a long pass up-ice from Kate Monihan and skated in from the center line, Threading two Mercyhurst Defenders to send it in from the slot.

Mercyhurst wasn’t done, pulling back in front after Makayla Javier sent a long pass forward for Johannson, who got behind the Tiger defense and slid a shot home for a 5-4 lead at the midpoint of the third period.

The Lakers were mere seconds away from taking the first game of the series when, with five seconds to go and the extra Attacker on for Princeton, a Mercyhurst clearing attempt from deep in its own end instead found Fillier, who blocked the Puck while tied up with a Mercyhurst defender. Monihan then took control of the Loose Puck with two seconds to go, and from the top of the faceoff circle to Laker goalie Ena Nystrøm’s left, threaded a shot through a crowded path and into the goal to tie it up with just 0.4 seconds on the clock.

In the first minute of overtime, a hard Mercyhurst shot bounced off the end board and ricocheted back out to the neutral zone, where Sarah Fillier picked it up and had only Nystrøm to beat. Instead, Fillier took a whack in the back from a Mercyhurst stick and was awarded a penalty shot, which the reigning Olympic gold medalist buried for the win.

Olnowich made six saves before giving way to Taylor Hyland in goal after Mercyhurst took the 4-2 lead, and Sarah Fillier and Monihan co-led the team as each had a three-point game on a day when eight Tigers had points.

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