ROSELLE, NJ – Having watched their three-goal, third-period lead evaporate in a span of 78 seconds and be forced to overtime, the Summit High School Girls Varsity Hockey Team was in no mood to stick around the Warinanco Skating Center very much longer, so they went out and scored just 18 seconds into the extra session to defeat Randolph, 6-5.
Sophomore Caroline Sharpe, assisted by freshman Leah Rubinshteyn, got the game-winner, a goal that sees the second-seeded Hilltoppers advance to the semifinals of the Morris Union Girls Ice Hockey League (MUGIHL) playoffs. The OT tally was one of two Caroline Sharpe goals, with Rubinshteyn adding two goals to go with her assist for a three-point night.
Rubinshteyn now has 35 goals and 50 points on the season.
Senior Morgen Shung and junior Emily Sharpe had the other Summit goals, and senior goaltender Julia Oppici had 11 saves.
Shung opened the scoring with the first period’s only goal, scoring unassisted at the 5:59 mark. The lead grew to three after Rubinshteyn scored unassisted at 11:56 of the second period and Shung set-up Emily Sharpe at 4:15.
Randolph’s Carly Snarski — who would go on to score four goals — got her first with just eight seconds to go in the stanza to trim the Hilltoppers’ lead to 3-1 but, miraculously, the scoring in the period wasn’t done as Rubinshteyn found the back of the net five seconds later to give the Maroon and White a 4-1 advantage.
After the teams traded goals in the third period’s first five minutes — Snarski unassisted for Randolph at 13:20 and Caroline Sharpe, from sophomore Skye Gilbert, at 10:15 — things were still comfortable for Summit, which maintained their three-goal lead at 5-2.
However, if the Hilltoppers thought they had the game in the hutch, Snarski had other ideas, scoring goals 17 seconds apart and then setting up Mackenzie Vorel 61 seconds later to tie the game 4-4 with 5:07 remianing in regulation.
Neither team could break the deadlock and extra hockey was needed, although it turned out just 18 of it.
Summit, now 12-5-1 on the season, advances to the MUGIHL semifinals — to be played February 6, beginning at 5 p.m. at Warinanco — where they will the face winner of the February 1 game between third-seeded Kent Place and sixth-seeded Westfield.
In the other semifinal, top-seeded Chatham-Madison will take on the winner of the fourth-seeded Pingy and fifth-seed Oak Knoll.