Women’s Hockey: Cardinals Clinch ECAC Women’s West, Top Elmira 4-0

Courtesy Plattsburgh Sports Information

PLATTSBURGH, NY. – The top-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team locked up its ninth Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women’s West regular-season title with a 4-0 Senior Day win over No. 4 Elmira College at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on Sunday. The Cardinals, now winners of 16 straight games, improve to 22-1 overall and 15-1 in the league, while the Soaring Eagles go to 15-4-4 and 12-2-2. Both of Plattsburgh State’s and Elmira’s rankings are according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.

With the regular-season championship secured and two games at Buffalo State College remaining, Plattsburgh State ensures a first-round bye and home-ice advantage through the ECAC Women’s West postseason. The Cardinals await an opponent to be determined in the semifinal round on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Plattsburgh State sophomore Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) had one goal and two assists, while senior Jordan Lipson (Davis, Calif./Pomfret School) chipped in two goals. Senior Erin Brand (Long Beach, N.Y./Syracuse) notched one goal and one assist, while sophomores Muna Fadel (Belle River, Ontario/Southwest Jr. Wildcats) and Mackenzie Millen (Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) and freshman Sarah Wolf(Fairport, N.Y./Boston Shamrocks Elite U-19) each assisted once. Sophomore Ashley Songin (Springville, N.Y./Nichols School) won nine faceoffs and senior Camille Leonard (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Jr. Hornets) recorded a 26-save shutout.

Elmira senior Johanna Eidenstein was 11-of-15 on faceoffs and classmate Kyle Nelson stopped 32 shots.

Leonard logged the 69th win of her career, which ties Sydney Aveson ’14 for the program’s career record. Leonard also registered her 28th career shutout, which is second to Aveson’s 31 clean sheets. With two goals Sunday, Lipson upped her career point total to 99.

The Soaring Eagles tested Leonard with eight first-period shots, while Nelson saw 13 shots. Elmira sophomore Maddie Evangelous had her low slot-shot punched away by Leonard at 4:40 before classmate Shannon Strawinski was denied on a breakaway bid at 6:51. Moriarty put up the Cardinals at 11:20 when she buried a one-timer on the right post off of an end-board feed from Millen.

Lipson extended the hosts’ lead at 5:51 of the second period with a shorthanded tally. Moriarty and Lipson skated up ice on a 2-on-1, with Moriarty dishing left to Lipson, who wristed a shot into the upper left corner. Plattsburgh State junior Kayla Meneghin (Clifton, N.J./The Gunnery) was turned away on two premium chances, including a breakaway attempt that was Nelson denied with her left toe at 7:50. Lipson rang a shot off the crossbar at 15:30 but Brand scored exactly one minute later by darting down the left side and snapping an ice-level shot inside the left post to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.

Plattsburgh State rounded out the scoring at 6:33 of the third stanza when Lipson’s mid-slot shot bounced through traffic, off of a Soaring Eagle defender and into the net.

Six Plattsburgh State seniors were recognized during pregame as part of Senior Day: Brand, Leonard, Lipson, Melissa Ames (Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U-19), Julia Duquette (North Tonawanda, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons U-19) and Katelyn Turk(Mississauga, Ontario/Etobicoke Jr. Dolphins).

The Cardinals wrap up the regular season next weekend with two games at Buffalo State, beginning on Friday at 7 p.m.