Wittman Nets Overtime Winner, Mustangs Advance to UCHC Championship Game

Wittman Nets Overtime Winner, Mustangs Advance to UCHC Championship Game

ELMIRA, N.Y. - Stevenson women's ice hockey junior Kellen Wittman netted the game-winning goal 8:30 into overtime as the third-seeded Mustangs erased a two-goal third period deficit to down second-seeded William Smith, 3-2, in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Semifinals Saturday evening at Murray Athletic Center.

With the win, the Mustangs (15-7-5) advance to the inaugural UCHC Championship game where they will face top-seeded and third-ranked Elmira at 3:00 p.m. The win also extends the team's unbeaten streak to 16 games and is unbeaten in 19 of its last 20. Stevenson has also never lost in overtime in program history, posting a 6-0-9 record.

Despite the Mustangs holding a 12-11 edge in shots in the opening period, it was Herons (16-6-4) who took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Stephanie Hampton scored the first of two goals with 8:13 remaining in the opening frame before scoring a power play goal on a centering pass from Krista Federow. Both Federow and Gina Scibetta recorded a pair of assists.

Neither team found the back of the net in the second period, with each team having power play opportunities. Stevenson went 0-for-2 in the period while William Smith went scoreless on its lone player advantage attempt.

The Mustangs finally got on the board 4:28 into the third period as junior Cierra Siemasko netted a power play goal on a centering pass from senior Chelsea Blackburn. Freshman Abigail Shows was credited with the secondary assist. Siemasko, who recorded her sixth power play goal this season, has a point in 11 of her last 13 games. Meanwhile, Blackburn has a point in 18 of her last 21 games.

With the assist, Blackburn moves into a tie for second place on the all-time career list with 48.

Just 2:51 later, Blackburn netted her 20th goal of the season after Wittman kept the puck in deep while the Mustangs were getting a line change. Senior Savannah Sommers also picked up an assist. It is the first time since February 10, 2017 that the Mustangs have erased a two-goal deficit in a win. Stevenson defeated Morrisville State, 6-4 in that game.

In overtime, Wittman netted her first career game-winning goal after getting in behind the defense and moving goaltender Maggie Salmon to score on the open net. Senior Chelsea Ellis and junior Caitie Darosa picked up the assists, marking just the second time in program history and first since January 29, 2016 the Mustangs have had a goalie assist. Darosa finished with 26 saves in net.

The Mustangs outshot William Smith, 54-28, including 23-6 in the third period. Stevenson finished 1-fof-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.