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January 21, 2013

Cardinals hold off No. 3 Soaring Eagles

PLATTSBURGH — If hockey games consisted of one 20-minute period, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team would’ve been in the catbird seat Sunday for its second monumental victory in as many days.

But the No. 1-ranked Cardinals (16-0-1, 9-0 ECAC West) had to survive a roller coaster second period that saw them surrender a 4-1 first-period lead before garnering the game-winning goal for a 5-4 win over Elmira College.

“We got in a rut there, and we never got out of it in that second period,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “With a 4-1 lead going into the second, I didn’t feel like it was safe. I know Elmira is a very good team with some talented players, and they got some opportunities and made the best of them.

“But we were fortunate to come out and get that power-play goal at the end. That was a big goal for us, and I thought we came out in the third and steadied the ship, so to speak.”

The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period, burying four goals on their first six shots. Emma Rutherford, Shannon Stewart and Morgan MacInnis all scored in the first 9:55 of play.

Yet, the lead was short-lived.

The No. 3 Soaring Eagles (15-3-1, 10-2) picked up consecutive goals from former Plattsburgh forward Ashton Hogan during a two-minute, 12-second span before teammate Ashley Ryan scored at 14:36 to tie the game at four.

Houle sensed a shift in momentum and thought his players were “rattled.”

“No question they were rattled,” Houle said. “They were rattled at 4-3. They were rattled at 4-2. We kind of went back a little bit to the way we played last weekend in terms of giving them opportunities. You can’t give good teams opportunities, and it’s a credit to them for coming back.”

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