PLATTSBURGH — The No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team will challenge its Route 11 rival when it hosts Potsdam at 7 p.m. today.
It marks the Cardinals’ (16-0-1, 9-0-0) final game before facing No. 3 Elmira College in a pivotal ECAC West matchup on the road next weekend.
“I hope we’re all focused on Potsdam,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “Every team has the ability to beat us, and we have to be prepared. Potsdam is all we’ve talked about all week. I hope the girls are focused and ready to play.”
The Cardinals are coming off a two-game sweep of then No. 10 Utica College, including an 8-0 drubbing Jan. 24. Sydney Aveson highlighted the weekend, collecting her 27th-career shutout, which is more than any other NCAA Division III men’s or women’s goaltender.
“I was more surprised at the 8-0 score than 2-0,” Houle said. “I hope we learned a lot from those games. On Saturday, it could’ve gone a different way. We gave up too many quality opportunities early.
“I hope we use that as a learning experience. We have to be ready to show up and be focused every game. Utica played extremely well. Our team realizes that was a good team. Hopefully, that success carries over.”
Plattsburgh defeated the Bears (9-6-3, 5-3-3) in its third game of the season Nov. 5, 8-0. Shannon Stewart scored on four occasions, while Jenny Kistner added two tallies in the eight-goal rout.
The Cardinals managed a 57-11 lead in shots on goal and finished 2-for-7 on the one-player advantage.
“Obviously, that game was early in the season,” Houle said. “We had experienced a big test a couple days before with Norwich and Manhattanville, and we were able to carry that momentum over. We were maybe a little more prepared than they were. But we expect a different Potsdam team this weekend.”
Potsdam is 3-0-1 in its last four outings, outscoring its opponents by a 14-10 margin during that span.
Senior forward Jessica Silveira (8-15-23), freshman forward Jordan Ott (15-7-22) and senior forward Amanda Lucky (7-10-17) are the team’s top point-getters.
Sophomore netminder Alexane Rodrigue has seen time between the pipes in 77.9 percent of the Bears’ 18 games. Rodrigue sports a 7-4-3 record with a 2.88 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.
A Plattsburgh victory would give Houle his 250th win of his 11-year career.
The Boston College alumnus has led the Cardinals to back-to-back NCAA Division III national championships in 2007 and 2008. Houle has also been recognized as the National Coach of the Year four times by the American Hockey Coaches’ Association (AHCA), including three in a row from 2006 to 2008.
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