CLINTON, N.Y.-Junior goalie Alexa Pfeiffer (Sylvania, Ohio/Little Caesar’s) backstopped the SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey team (3-5-2) to overtime with a career-high matching 51 saves before Hamilton College (5-2) finally wore the Bears down with in a 2-1 win. Sophomore forward Emily Burke (San Jose, Calif./San Jose Jr. Sharks) scored for Potsdam.
The Continentals slowly built momentum in the first period and finally broke through at 10:28. Emily Walther fired on Pfeiffer and she made the save. However, after a scramble at the left side of the net, Karina Sirabian poked home the loose puck for a 1-0 lead. Hamilton continued to press after the goal, but Pfeiffer shut them down the rest of the period. She finished with 18 stops in the first 20 minutes.
The Continentals created several odd-man rushes to open the second period, but were repeatedly frustrated by Pfeiffer. The pressure created the first power play of the game, but Potsdam’s goaltender stopped four more shots as the Bears killed it off. Potsdam earned its first man advantage with 4:19 left in the period, but was unable to capitalize. Pfeiffer stopped 17 shots in the second to keep the Bears within one.
Hamilton came with more intense pressure to open the third period, but couldn’t solve Pfeiffer. Potsdam began to break the pressure after a second power play. At 9:00, sophomore forward Emily Burke (San Jose, Calif./San Jose Jr. Sharks) scored off a feed from junior defenseman Delphine Léonard (Anjou, Quebec/Dawson College Prep), beating Continental goalie and Norfolk, N.Y. native Sidney Molnar to tie the game. After the goal, Potsdam battled more evenly with Hamilton and blocked more shots. With just under two minutes to go in regulation, Burke nearly put the Bears ahead on a breakaway, but Molnar robbed her at the right post. Hamilton made a final push in the closing seconds, but Pfeiffer made her 51st save with five seconds left to force overtime.
After blocking a couple Potsdam shots to open overtime, Hamilton broke out of its zone. Missy Segall then fired a wrist shot over Pfeiffer’s left shoulder for the win just 37 seconds into the extra session.
The Continentals outshot the Bears 53-12 and was 0-for-1 on the power play. Potsdam was 0-for-2.
The two teams go at it again on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Maxcy Ice Arena.