The Philadelphia Jr. Flyers battled back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Chicago Mission, 5-4, in overtime. The Flyers tallied the tying goal to send the game to overtime with 37 seconds remaining in the third, before Laney Potter put the winning goal away at 9:16 in the extra period.
This marks the first time the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers have made the Championship game at the Chipotle-USA Hockey Girls Tier I 19U National Championship.
Philadelphia recorded the first five shots on goal, but it was the Chicago Mission that broke the ice first. At 11:49 in the first Kelly Gorbatenko took a power play feed from Brynn Levinson behind the net and flipped it past Jr. Flyers’ netminder Mattie Robitzer.
Less than two minutes later, the Mission’s Molly Henderson found Alexandra Laskonis with a cross-ice feed to extend the lead to 2-0. Chicago then opened a 3-0 lead at 7:23 when Courtney Schumacher put a rebound in on the opponent’s short side following a 2-on-1 chance. Mission scored on three of its first six shots.
The Jr. Flyers cut into Mission’s lead midway through the second. At 12:37, Kiley Mastel took a short pass from Lara Beecher and slipped it past Mission’s Chloe Baker to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Jr. Flyers made it a one-goal game when Philadelphia’s Leah Stecker took a flip pass from Kathryn Palmer and put it behind Baker after a scramble in front of the net. Katherine Khramtsov tied the tilt with 1:52 remaining in second after carrying the puck from the defensive zone and across the crease in short range.
Mission goaltender made a key save on a Jr. Flyers’ short-handed breakaway attempt midway through the third to keep the game knotted at three. Mission then took a short-handed breakaway from Brynn Levinson past the Flyers goalie to jump out to a 4-3 lead.
In the waning seconds of the third, the Jr. Flyers tied the game after pulling their goalie. Mastel recorded her second of the game on a screened shot from the point with 37 seconds left in the game.
With 9:16 left in overtime, Potter sent the Jr. Flyers to Championship Monday posting a short-handed wrist shot from just inside the top of the circle for the win. The Jr. Flyers outshot the Mission 30-24.
Little Caesars tallied five unanswered goals to advance to the championship game at the 19U level, defeating Shattuck-St. Mary’s 4-2. It marks the first time since 2011 that Little Caesars advanced to the national championship game at the Girls Tier I 19U level.
The teams were evenly matched in the first period entering the locker room scoreless.
Shattuck struck first as Alexandra Lalonde put away a scramble in front of the net to jump out to a 1-0 lead at 3:32 in the first period. A little over two minutes later, SSM opened a 2-0 lead when Sydney Morrow finished top shelf from the slot. Shattuck kept the pressure on for the remainder of the period, entering the locker room up two.
Little Caesars opened the scoring in the second following a short rebound in front of the net by Clara Yuhn at 12:11 in the second period. Before the second break, Little Caesars knotted the game at two, as Gabrielle Dougherty took a breakout pass into the offensive zone, deking a defender before shooting it past the Shattuck goalie.
Little Caesars scored its third unanswered goal early in the third stanza after Ella Blackmore took a feed from Ava Stevenson to take its first lead of the evening. Blackmore added her second of the period, opening a 4-2 lead for Little Caesars with 9:22 left in the third.
Cassandra Hall put away Little Caesars’ fifth of the game with 1:38 left in the game. Little Caesars outshot Shattuck, 42-30, in the winning effort.