December 7, 2012

Cards look to finish 1st semester strong

With one game remaining before the semester’s conclusion, there’s no doubt the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team would like to finish on a good note.

The first-ranked Cardinals (9-0-1) travel to Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Conn., for a nonconference matchup against No. 8 Manhattanville tonight.

After suffering consecutive losses in their first two games, the Valiants (8-2-1) currently ride a seven-game unbeaten streak and have outscored their opponents 27-10 during that span. Plattsburgh beat Manhattanville 2-1 in overtime in the East/West Showcase on Oct. 27.

“We’ve grown since our first meeting with Manhattanville and have learned to focus on our systems,” Plattsburgh senior captain Teal Gove said. “We’ve played some strong teams since then and look to build off a great weekend in Buffalo.”

The Valiants are led offensively by Katie Little. The senior forward has totaled seven goals and four assists, good for 11 points through nine games. Mary Rose Morrison (4-7-11) and Alla Traun (2-5-7) are also expected to put up offensive output.

Manhattanville has been playing its home games in Stamford this season because its usual rink, the Playland Ice Casino, was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

“They’re strong a team, and we expect a hard-fought effort,” Gove said. “We’d like to come out and match their intensity for the entire 60 minutes. We can’t take a shift off.”

The Cardinals have spent the last week of practice analyzing game film in an effort to adjust on special teams. Manhattanville’s power play features a forward camping predominately in the slot, a philosophy Plattsburgh wasn’t expecting in the first go-around.

“Our penalty kill is a continuous work in progress,” Plattsburgh forward Jenny Kistner said. “They operate a modified version of an umbrella. They overload one side of the ice and make a lot of passes at the blue line. We’ve been focusing on defending it.”

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