Lindsay Eastwood’s First Career Hat Trick Sends Syracuse to CHA Finals
By David Edelstein
CitrusTV Women’s Ice Hockey Reporter
Lindsay Eastwood had no more than one goal in any game in which she played in college. But Thursday, with the season on the line in the conference tournament semifinals, Eastwood had a hat trick to lead third-seeded Syracuse (12-21-3, 10-8-2 College Hockey America) past second-seeded Mercyhurst (15-14-5, 12-6-2) by a score of 4-3, sending the Orange to the CHA championship game.
This marks the seventh time in the 11 years of the program that Syracuse women’s ice hockey will play in the CHA Tournament final.
Lindsay Eastwood opened scoring 6:08 into play off a pass from Lauren Bellefontaine to give SU the early 1-0 lead.
But Mercyhurst tied the game with 51 seconds remaining in the first period when Emma Nuutinen scored on goalie Ady Cohen for her team-leading 16th goal of the season.
The Orange fell behind in the second period when Summer-Rae Dobson scored a power play goal to give the Lakers their first lead of the game, 2-1.
But Eastwood struck again for Syracuse just over a minute later. The goal came during a delayed penalty call on Mercyhurst. Eastwood was serving a two-minute penalty of her own for holding.Before the delayed penalty on the Lakers led to a stoppage of play, she returned to the ice and scored to tie the game.
The next goal for the Orange was scored after serving a penalty, as well. Anonda Hoppner scored eight seconds after returning to the ice from a hooking call to give the Orange a 3-2 lead.
Mercyhurst tied the game yet again in the final frame when Maggie Knott scored with 9:23 left in regulation. But again Eastwood scored—and again, just over a minute later—to earn a 4-3 lead.
That tally became the final score despite an attempt to tie the game with an extra skater. In the other semifinal game, first-seed Robert Morris defeated fifth-seeded Penn State by a score of 2-1.
Syracuse will play in the CHA finals against the Colonials on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
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