The No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team will play its third game in 10 days when it takes on Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., at 7 p.m. tonight.
The Cardinals (11-0-1) are coming off a 4-1 win over Manhattanville College at the Stafford Ice Arena Saturday.
After a day off Sunday, Plattsburgh had its lone practice between games Monday.
“I would hope this short week doesn’t disrupt any sort of rhythm or momentum,” Cardinals coach Kevin Houle said. “But we’ll find out (tonight). I think we’ll be fine. Heading out, I hope we’re not overlooking a pretty good opponent.”
Since returning for the second semester, Plattsburgh is 2-0, including a 6-0 drubbing of No. 4 Norwich University at home Jan. 5.
Junior right winger Shannon Stewart is the team’s top point-getter during that span with two goals and two assists for four points. Stewart, Bridget Balisy and Giovanna Senese have scored six of the team’s 10 goals in two games.
Senior goaltender Sydney Aveson has stopped 37-of-38 shots between the pipes, recording one shutout against Norwich in a 27-save performance.
“There’s no question we have confidence based on the way we’ve played the entire season, especially the second half and not missing a beat,” Houle said. “We have to stay consistent. Certainly, there’s a sense of confidence and that’s a good thing. We have to remember what got us to the point we’re at now and that’s doing the little things well.”
The Cardinals are 11-0-0 when scoring first this season, and Houle said it’s important for his club to get on the board early after a three-hour trip.
“It’s good to come out and take over the game early like we have in most of our games this season,” Houle said. “We’re confident if we get behind early, we can battle back. Our goal every game is to play our game and have a lot of possession time in their zone.”
The Ephs (5-5-0) are currently third in the NESCAC behind No. 10 Amherst College and No. 2 Middlebury College.
Williams is led in scoring by senior forward Cristina Bravi (8-5-13), freshman forward Emily Krueger (5-3-8) and freshman defenceman Hanna Beattie (3-5-8).
Chloe Billadeau, a junior netminder, has seen time in net for 59.5 percent of the team’s 10 games. Billadeau sports a 3-3-0 record to go along with a 2.85 goals-against average and .887 save percentage.
Plattsburgh last played the Ephs at the Stafford Ice Arena Jan. 16, 2013, a 4-1 victory for the home team.
“They’re a much-improved team,” Houle said. “We had a good game last year. They played very well. It’s wasn’t a 4-1 game. It could’ve been much closer. They’ve got a very good, young coach.
“I’m sure they’re excited to play us. They have that everything to gain and nothing to lose attitude playing on home ice. We expect them to come right at us. They’re a very capable opponent.”
The tilt will mark the Cardinals’ second-to-last nonconference game of the season, with one more to play at home against Middlebury Feb. 11.
“Every game you play is big whether it’s a nonconference game or not,” Houle said. “Williams shares a lot of common opponents. But I’m not looking at it any differently and neither is the team. We just want to continue to play consistent hockey. If we can do that on the road, everything should take care of itself. We expect a test from them.”
Email Ricky St. Clair: firstname.lastname@example.org