PLATTSBURGH — Forget the past disappointments, the heartache.
The Plattsburgh State women are national champions.
After falling behind 1-0, the top-ranked Cardinals recorded eight unanswered goals in a 9-2 rout of No. 2 Norwich in the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship final at the Stafford Ice Arena Saturday.
“It’s been a long road,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “Sometimes, you have to knock on the door before you kick it in. We were able to do that (Saturday). It’s just a great win, and it’s great to finish it off. No question about it.”
The Cardinals (28-1-1) were in the final four for the third straight year. They combined for 47 wins in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons but couldn’t get the big one.
That changed Saturday.
“It’s pretty awesome to be able to have these dreams,” senior captain Chelsea VanGlahn said. “You come in and obviously every little girl deep down wants to win a national championship. We made dreams into a reality. Right now, words can’t really explain it.”
Madyson Moore helped the Cadets (27-4-0) to their only lead of the contest at 8:30 of the first period.
Their one-goal advantage lasted one minute and 27 seconds.
After consecutive Plattsburgh goals from Bridget Balisy, Julia Duquette and VanGlahn, Norwich coach Mark Bolding yanked goaltender Taylor Fairchild for Loren Carrier.
“You know, we did consider calling timeout,” Bolding said. “Taylor got a puck on the knee (Friday) and was limping around toward the end of the game. She really battled, and Loren’s been absolutely sharp this season and practiced very hard.
“With Plattsburgh, you’ve got to do something quick, so step one was the goalie change and maybe get some momentum. But when you look at the way Plattsburgh pressured us and took away our passing lanes, it was a tough chore to get to the net.”