November 18, 2013

Freshmen Ames, Leonard shine for Cardinals

PLATTSBURGH — The No. 1 Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team picked up where it left off Sunday.

Twenty-four hours removed from a 7-0 drubbing of Buffalo State, the Cardinals (6-0, 3-0 ECAC West) clobbered the Bengals (0-5, 0-4 ECAC West) for the second time in as many days for an 8-0 victory.

“Yeah, I thought we started a little slow (Sunday),” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “I thought we were a little flat. We missed on a few chances early on, then picked it up. Again, it was a good effort. It was a good 60 minutes of hockey.”

Mel Ames, a freshman forward, was the focal point of Houle’s offense. The Rochester native not only scored her first collegiate goal, but added two more in a hat-trick performance.

“She can really shoot the puck and has good hands,” Houle said. “Obviously, in a game like (Sunday), she got a little more space to get the shot off and did a great job, especially that third goal. But she has the ability to put the puck in the net.”

Entering the game, the Cardinals had converted 3-of-18 power-play opportunities. The special teams, though, finished 3-for-4 with nine shots in the eight-goal win.

“I thought we had some good looks,” Houle said. “I thought we moved the puck well. On that five-minute major, obviously I’d like to see us score a couple of goals on that in different situations. But I thought we had some really good opportunities — two or three of them — that kind of slid by the net.

“It was good to get it clicking a little bit. (Three-for-four) is certainly good. We’ve still got to continue to work on it.”

Cami Leonard, a freshman from Oakville, Ont., made her first collegiate start between the pipes for Plattsburgh. The 18-year-old netminder fended off all 11 shots faced in her debut.

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