---- — NORTHFIELD, Vt. — The No. 2 Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team made a statement in its season opener, cruising to a 6-0 win over No. 5 Norwich University at the East/West Hockey Classic Saturday.
Bridget Balisy scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Cardinals to victory. Emma Rutherford also tallied a goal and an assist, while Jordan Caldwell had two assists in her return to the ice after missing most of last season due to injury.
The two sides appeared evenly matched through the first 10 minutes, but Plattsburgh scored two goals less than a minute apart to quickly take a 2-0 lead.
Morgan MacInnis scored on a scrum in front of the net at the 14:10 mark before Balisy knocked in a rebound on a deflected shot from the point just 55 seconds later. Caldwell and Allison Era picked up assists on Balisy’s goal.
“We just kind of came out taking the game to them,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “We were in the box early, but were fortunate to score the first goal.
“We were playing really well early and were solid all over. We had a good forecheck going and made sure to get the puck deep. The puck was just going in.”
The Cardinals made it a three-goal game at the 6:39 mark of the second period with an unassisted goal by Rutherford.
Norwich had its best opportunities midway through the second period, but Plattsburgh goaltender Sydney Aveson came up with two big saves to keep the Cadets off the board.
The floodgates opened later in the second period as Plattsburgh tacked on three more goals en route to the 6-0 victory.
Ali Vakos buried a centering pass from Giovanna Sense to make it 4-0. Then, Jenny Kistner took a feed from Balisy and came in all alone to score off the backhand at the 16:06 mark. Balisy rounded out the scoring at 19:23 with her second of the evening from Caldwell.
Aveson made 18 saves to earn the shutout. Norwich goalie Loren Carrier recorded 18 saves in the loss.
“Sydney had to make some big saves,” Houle said. “Usually, she’s busier when we play Norwich. But that’s a credit to our defensemen. They kept the puck in their end and to the outside. They didn’t get many second-chance opportunities.”
Plattsburgh finished with a 25-18 advantage in shots. The Cardinals went 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Cadets went 0-for-6.
“We did a great job on the PK,” Houle said. “We have some veterans back there in Chelsea VanGlahn and Jordan Caldwell. They did a nice job keeping them at bay.”
In the first game of the East/West Hockey Classic, No. 1 Elmira and No. 9 Manhattanville played to a 2-2 tie. Norwich will face Elmira at 4 p.m. after Plattsburgh State wraps up the weekend against Manhattanville at 1 p.m. today.
“You would hope this win would create some sort of momentum moving forward,” Houle said. “(Saturday), it was a complete effort. Everybody played well, but we have to get that kind of effort all year long. We don’t have any prolific scorers. We have to get contributions from everybody in all three zones.”
Plattsburgh 6, Norwich 0
Plattsburgh 2 4 0 — 6
Norwich 0 0 0 — 0
First period- 1, PSU, MacInnis (Turk, Rutherford), 14:10. 2, PSU, Balisy (Caldwell, Era), 15:05. Penalties: Rutherford, PSU (interference), 2:54. Duquette, PSU (hooking), 6:43. Parsons, NU (roughing), 7:05. Kistner, PSU (hooking), 19:36.
Second period- 3, PSU, Rutherford, 6:39. 4, PSU, Vakos (Senese), 13:09. 5, PSU, Kistner (Balisy), 16:06. 6, PSU, Balisy (Caldwell), 19:23. Penalties: Bench, PSU (too many players), 5:25. Guay, NU (interference), 6:15. Parke, PSU (cross-checking), 14:14. Papagno, NU (embellishment), 14:14.
Third period- Penalties: Turk, PSU (checking), 1:27. Moore, NU (elbowing), 6:41. Caldwell, PSU (tripping), 8:52.
Plattsburgh 7 13 5 — 25
Norwich 5 7 6 — 18
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Aveson, PSU, 18-18. Carrier 24-18, Fairchild 1-1, NU, (25-19).
Power plays (goals opportunities): Plattsburgh 0-3; Norwich 0-6.