BUFFALO, NY—Buffalo State (10-12-3/8-9-1) took a one-goal lead into the third period, but could not hang on as visiting Utica (10-10-5/7-7-4) rallied to post a 3-2 victory in overtime to clinch the No. 4 seed entering the ECAC West playoffs.
Brooke Krantz (Penticton, BC/Penticton) opened the scoring with a power-play marker for Buffalo State in the middle of the first period, but Utica netting a power-play goal of its own less than four minutes later. Buffalo State pulled ahead again with the lone goal of the middle stanza, when Erin Gehen (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) took a breakaway pass from Jeyna Minnick (Rochester, NY/Greece-Arcadia) and wired a shot under the cross bar for her seventh of the season.
Utica tied the score with the only tally of the third, however, and then netted the game winner with just 37 seconds remaining in overtime. With nothing to lose with a loss from a playoff seeding standpoint, Utica pulled its goalie in the final minute of overtime, and then after a Buffalo State penalty, scoring off the ensuing faceoff with the 6-on-4 advantage.
Utica finished 2 for 5 on the power play, while Buffalo State could only capitalize once on eight opportunities. The Bengals held a 30-24 advantage in shots, but Utica had a 5-1 edge in overtime. Justine Silva (El Monte, CA/Arroyo) finished with 21 saves for the Bengals.
Buffalo State will not have to wait long for a chance at revenge as the fifth-seeded Bengals will travel to No. 4 Utica next Saturday for an ECAC West quarterfinal matchup. The game time will be announced later.