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.”
Stressing a complete, 60-minute effort, Houle received goal contributions from Jordan Caldwell, Senese and Caitlin Gilligan in the final stanza.
Houle was pleased with his team’s ability to put the puck on net.
“Sometimes, we pass up too many shots inside that prime scoring area or just out of that prime scoring area,” Houle said. “You saw Jordan Caldwell come out around the top of the circle and get a shot on net. That’s big. We’ve got to shoot more pucks from that area.”
Fending off all 27 shots faced, Sydney Aveson was able to record her eighth shutout in nine starts this season.
“She absolutely had to make some big saves,” Houle said. “At 3-0, she made one or two excellent saves, and then she was good in the first period as well. She’s been the backbone of this team for the last couple of years.
“Things can be quiet in her end, but she’s still focused and ready to play and ready to make that big save. That’s a hard thing for a goalie to do, but whether she’s seeing a lot of shots or she’s not seeing a lot of shots, she’s ready when that big shot comes.”
Plattsburgh will continue play when it hosts a non-conference tilt against Manhattanville at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Cardinals will play six games during a 15-day span.
“It’s just a great start for our second half,” Houle said. “We don’t want to get too overconfident, but it’s a nice win for the girls and a nice way to start the second semester.”
Plattsburgh State 6, Norwich University 0
Norwich 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 3 0 3 — 6
First period- 1, PSU, Senese (Vakos), 3:10. 2, PSU, Stewart (Gove, Era), 7:45. 3, PSU, Vakos (VanGlahn, Parke), 12:48. Penalties: Favretto, PSU (holding), 8:18. Papagno, NU (tripping), 19:29.
Second period- Penalties: MacKinnon, NU (tripping), 1:45. Gallagher, NU (body checking), 3:14. Duquette, PSU (body checking), 5:45. Parke, PSU (interference), 9:31. Gibson, NU (body checking), 15:26.
Third period- 4, PSU, Caldwell (Kistner, Gilligan), 12:40. 5, PSU, Senese (Parke), 13:22. 6, PSU, Gilligan (Ames), 19:54. Penalties: Ziesmann, PSU (tripping), 0:14. VanGlahn, PSU (holding), 18:06. Cross, NU (bench), 18:38.
Shots on goal:
Norwich 10 14 3 —27
Plattsburgh 14 15 13 —42
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Carrier 35-32, Fairchild 7-4, NU, (42-36). Aveson, PSU, 27-27.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Norwich 0-5; Plattsburgh 0-4.
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