Cardinals Eliminated by Hope in Conference Semi-Final

Cardinals Eliminated by Hope in Conference Semi-Final

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – #5 Saginaw Valley State (23-7) fell to #1 Hope College (28-1) in the MCHC conference semi-final game, 4-3, on Friday night at Patterson Ice Center. A miraculous comeback from Hope left Saginaw stunned in the final minutes.

With Saginaw Valley leading 3-1 early in the third period, the Flying Dutchmen scored three unanswered goals to close out the contest, advancing to the MCHC conference championship.

The Cardinals trailed by just one goal for much of the first two periods until conference MVP freshman Logan O’Flanagan buried a slapshot with 0.06 second remaining in the second period. It was the third matchup of the year between these two teams and by far the best one yet.

Tied at one entering the third period, Saginaw Valley rattled off two goals in the first five minutes and took a commanding 3-1 lead. O’Flanagan netted his second of the game and 30th goal of the season while freshman Cameron Barlass scored his third playoff goal.

However, a few penalties paired with some great offensive chances led to three quick goals for Hope, retaking the lead with little time to spare. Junior winger Jake Adams scored the fourth and final goal for the Dutchmen via power play with just over seven minutes to play.

Saginaw would make one last stand with an empty-net chance but failed to tie the contest and force overtime as time expired. The Cardinals fell short of the Vezina Cup Championship and will direct their focus toward the national tournament in a few weeks.

Saginaw Valley State will be back in action on March 16th in Boston, Massachusetts for the first round of the ACHA National Tournament. Follow @sagvalleyhockey on Instagram and Twitter for updates on game times, stream links, opponents, etc.

Tom Cavanaugh
SVSU Hockey Writer & Broadcaster