January 6, 2014

Cardinals off to solid start in '14

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State women’s hockey coach Kevin Houle couldn’t have asked for a better start. 

Houle’s top-ranked Cardinals (10-0-1) scored on three occasions inside the first 13 minutes of play in a 6-0 rout of No. 3 Norwich University (9-2) Sunday.

Plattsburgh has now outscored its opponents by a 52-1 margin, including a 34-0 differential at the Stafford Ice Arena.

“To come out of that first period up 3-0 was a great start,” Houle said. “A couple of nice goals and a nice bounce there when a puck went off their player.”

Giovanna Senese opened the scoring at the 3:10 mark, throwing a puck on net, which deflected off Cadets goaltender Taylor Fairchild and into the back of the net.

Shannon Stewart extended the Cardinals’ lead to two by collecting a fortuitous bounce off the end board, going backhand-to-forehand all alone in front at 7:45.

Ali Vakos concluded first-period scoring, collecting a Chelsea VanGlahn pass off the far-side boards and beating Fairchild five-hole.

As a result, Fairchild was pulled for Loren Carrier with just over seven minutes remaining in the first period. Fairchild was credited with four saves on seven shots.

Facing a three-goal deficit, Norwich was able to maintain possession of the puck in the middle stanza, generating quality scoring chances down low.

Houle said four penalties inside the first 9:31 put his team out of sync.

“I think, in that period, there were at least 10 or 12 minutes of power plays and PKs,” Houle said. “They maintained some pressure after their power play. They’re a good hockey team, and they’re going to put pressure on you.

“I was a little disappointed with that second period. But a lot of it was being out of sync with being in the box or being on the power play and just not getting everybody going in a good flow. I thought we did a better job in that third period.”

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