Walled Lake,Warren,Farmington HillsMarch 06, 2014
Plymouth Canton Salem and Walled Lake win in Metro League Division 2 semifinals
Penquins win with 23 seconds left in regulation
By Thomas Franz
C & G Staff Writer
In a back-and-forth affair between Plymouth Canton Salem and Warren Regina, the Penquins took advantage of a late power play opportunity as Megan Brace scored with 23.1 seconds to go and lifted PCS to a 3-2 victory.
The game was tied 1-1 going into the third period as each side controlled the game for different streches of the first 30 minutes. Senior Morgan Cusmano broke the tie by scoring for PCS just 28 seconds into the third period.
The next 11 minutes of action belonged to Regina as the Saddelites peppered PCS goalie Gwen Gadulhka throughout the final frame. Regina's work finally paid off with a game-tying goal by senior forward Katelyn McGowan with 3:17 remaining.
An interferance call on Regina with 1:50 left in the game would then set up Brace's late game heroics.
"It was crazy. I knew it was going to be a close game but I didn't think it was going to come down to the last few seconds," PCS coach Mary Beth Smith said. "We were throwing the puck on net and going for the rebound, so just getting the traffic in front and getting shots on net and being there for any rebounds is how dirty goals win these games."
Regina coach Paul Buscemi disagreed with the interferance call that forced the Saddelites to go down a player for the closing moments of the game.
"Of all calls, an interferance call in the neutral zone is really hard to swallow," Buscemi said. "The girls deserved better, but that's hockey, and that's the breaks. I told my team to keep their heads up. It was a heck of a game."
Regina closed its season with a 9-9-1 record in Metro League play.
PCS advances to play Walled Lake in the Division 2 championship game at 7:30 p.m. March 8 at McCann Arena.
Walled Lake advanced to the final by way of a 3-0 victory against top-seeded Farmington Hills Mercy in the first semifinal Thursday night.
Goalie Sam Carrier earned the shutout for the Wild as she stopped 25 shots on goal by Mercy.
Kylie Armstrong scored twice and Kayleigh Walker added a goal for Walled Lake, which came into the contest with a 4-11-3 record in league play and was the tournament's No. 4 seed.
Walled Lake coach Erik Carlson was pleased with his team's defensive effort as the Wild were outshot 25-15.
"We got a couple lucky bounces. We did good defensively, I thought we got outplayed a little in our end. I think they spent more time in our end than we did, and the girls played well defensively."
Mercy closed its season with a 10-7-2 mark in Metro League play.