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February 15, 2014

Cardinal women travel to Chatham

PLATTSBURGH — The No. 1 Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team has itself in the catbird seat to secure home-ice advantage in the ECAC West playoffs.

If the Cardinals (19-1-1, 11-1-0) can fend off the likes of Oswego, Potsdam and Utica College, they will receive a first-round bye into the semifinal round where it will host.

Plattsburgh, unable to afford a potential letdown, travels to Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a two-game series at 8 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday.

“We’ve got a lot of hockey to play,” Cardinals coach Kevin Houle said. “Chatham is the next test in hand. Obviously, we need to go down there and take care of business.”

The Cougars (4-15-2, 3-9-0) sit sixth in the ECAC West standings and are fighting for one of six playoff spots. They’re a much-improved program, winning more games this season (four) than their past three seasons combined (two).

“There’s no question (they’re a much-improved team),” Houle said. “They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and they’ll be ready to play. They’ll give us their best shot at home, so we’re not overlooking anybody.”

Freshman forward Brianna Rice (9-6-15), sophomore forward Katrina Hawkins (7-7-14) and sophomore forward Erika Bronk (4-10-14) are the team’s top point-getters.

Junior Megan Buchanan and freshman Tara Treloar have each split time between the pipes for Chatham. Buchanan sports a 2-13-0 record with a 3.03 goals-against average and .917 save percentage, while Treloar is 2-2-2 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.

Plattsburgh made the 10-hour trip to Pittsburgh, Pa., arriving Friday. Houle said his team will get a workout in Saturday to rid any bus legs.

“We arrived the night before (the game), so we’ll be well-rested,” Houle said. “We’ll have a chance to get out and get a workout to make sure they’re ready to go.”

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