Women’s Hockey: Cardinals Top Cadets 3-1 in Home Opener

Courtesy Plattsburgh Sports Information

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The top-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team topped No. 6 Norwich University, 3-1, in non-conference play at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on Wednesday. Plattsburgh State, which made its regular-season home debut, moves to 5-0 on the season, while the Cadets are 4-1. Both teams’ rankings are according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.

Plattsburgh State juniors Kayla Meneghin (Clifton, N.J./The Gunnery) and Melissa Sheeran (Schaghticoke, N.Y./Millbrook School) both logged one goal and one assist, while senior Melissa Ames (Rochester, N.Y./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite U-19) chipped in another goal. Senior Erin Brand (Long Beach, N.Y./Syracuse University) and sophomore Maci Hoskins (Oklahoma City, Okla./Northwood School) both had assists. Senior Camille Leonard (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Jr. Hornets) collected 19 saves for the win.

Norwich freshman Amanda Conway scored and was 8-of-10 on faceoffs, and senior Adelle Murphy and sophomore Bryn Labbe provided the assists. Senior Celeste Robert totaled 41 saves in 54:20 and junior Laurie King had one stop in 4:48 of relief in the second period.

The teams skated to a 1-1 opening period, with Plattsburgh State leading 15-5 in shots. The Cardinals clicked off a trio of shots at 5:40, as Robert denied senior Jordan Lipson (Davis, Calif./Pomfret School) on a pair of chances. Plattsburgh State then netted the game’s first goal at 7:21, as a scramble in front of the net allowed Meneghin to make a quick feed to Sheeran, who deposited the puck low right side. Norwich knotted up the score at 10:30 when Murphy’s pass from below the goal connected with Conway, who chipped home the puck. The Cadets looked to go ahead on the power play with 2:10 remaining as freshman Sophie McGovern darted up the left side and backhanded a shot that was paddled away by Leonard.

Shots in the second period mirrored those in the first, as Plattsburgh State once again fired 15 shots to Norwich’s five. The Cardinals rang two shots off the right post in a 1:25 span midway through the stanza, with freshman Hannah Kiraly(Newport Beach, Calif./Northern Cyclones) hitting the iron on a snapshot from the high slot. Plattsburgh State later regained the lead as Sheeran’s dish across the top of the crease found Meneghin, who stuffed in the puck just inside the left post at 14:51 to give the hosts a 2-1 lead. Leonard swatted away the puck with 1:34 left to keep the Cadets off the board.

Norwich peppered Leonard with two third-period shots in the first 26 seconds before Plattsburgh State countered with three bids that were all stopped by Robert. The teams then traded penalties and shots over the next nine minutes, with Sheeran nearly registering her second goal of the game at 9:18. After Leonard rejected freshman Alyssa Hulst with 50 seconds remaining, the Cadets pulled Robert for the extra attacker, and Ames flicked in an empty-net tally with 0.6 left on the clock.

Plattsburgh State welcomes No. 9 Oswego State for a pair of Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West contests this weekend, beginning with a 3 p.m. Saturday game. Prior to the game, Plattsburgh State is holding a special ceremony to unveil its 2015-16 national championship banner. Festivities commence about 15 minutes prior to puck drop.