MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — The Plattsburgh State Cardinals returned to their winning — and whitewashing — ways Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over arch-rival Middlebury College in the 9th-Annual Panther/Cardinal Classic.
The top-ranked Cardinals, who gave up their first goal of the season Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Amherst College, improved to 9-0-1 with their ninth shutout of the campaign. The triumph also offered the Cardinals a measure of revenge for a 4-1 loss to Middlebury in the NCAA Div. III Women’s Hockey Semifinals last March. It was the Cardinals’ only setback during the 2012-13 season.
Plattsburgh Coach Kevin Houle said the rematch with Middlebury may have been on the Cardinals’ minds Saturday in the skirmish with Amherst.
“As much as we told the girls that Amherst is a really good team, everyone was still looking forward to playing Middlebury, especially after last year,” Houle acknowledged.
“Give Amherst a lot of credit, though. They’re a good team and they played us tough.
“It’s not that we played bad; Amherst had a hot goalie.
“We hadn’t played from behind all year and it was good to see the girls come back like that.”
Still, Houle was looking to see a little more spring in the Cardinals’ step Sunday against Middlebury.
“We needed to play with more emotion, with more energy today,” Houle said. “We were a little flat on Saturday and we wanted to make sure we were first on the puck today. We did a good job in the first to set the tone, but I was a little bit concerned about staying the course the rest of the game.”
The Cardinals carried the play for the first 20 minutes, but found themselves playing a man down 1:15 into the second when Allison Era was sent off for tripping.
The Panthers nearly took the lead but Hannah Bielawski’s shot was saved by Plattsburgh State’s Sydney Aveson before Katie Sullivan was denied on a rebound attempt.