BY RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State women’s hockey coach Kevin Houle will tell you “a win is a win,” but after a lopsided 8-0 victory Saturday, Sunday’s effort was not the one he was looking for.
The Cardinals (13-0-1, 7-0 ECAC West) received goals from Morgan MacInnis and Shannon Stewart in a 2-0 victory over Oswego State at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena Sunday.
“I’d like us to play with more confidence and tenacity,” Houle said. “I think mental toughness is a part of it. Oswego has some skilled kids up front, and when you’re not scoring and putting the puck away, they’re going to be in the game.
“I wasn’t overly thrilled with the effort (Saturday) either. I don’t think it was any better (Sunday). It’s a credit to them for working hard with a real short bench.”
Following a suffocating forecheck, an Oswego (7-8-1, 6-4) defenseman committed a turnover right in front of goaltender Bridget Smith early in the second period. MacInnis capitalized, sending home a loose puck and giving Plattsburgh a 1-0 lead at the 3:39 mark. Teal Gove and Stewart added assists on MacInnis’ fourth of the year, while the line accumulated 17 points on the weekend sweep.
“At times, I thought the forecheck was real good,” Houle said. “We spent a lot of time in their end. That goal was a situation where we had them in their own end for a while, and we had a lot of shifts like that. There are some positives, but certainly there are some things we need to do a lot better.”
Smith, who surrendered five goals before being pulled in Saturday’s game, kept Oswego within striking distance by standing tall on numerous occasions. The Cardinals were unable convert on shots in the low slot and second-chance scoring opportunities just outside the crease throughout the game.
Smith finished with 38 saves on 40 shots.
“She’s a big goalie, and she did a good job controlling rebounds and making the first save,” Houle said. “I think the difference was — (Saturday), we got a lot of chances on the rush and converted on two-on-one opportunities, but didn’t do that (Sunday). I kind of expected she’d play a lot better.”
Stewart collected a power play goal, her fifth tally of the weekend, at the 14:18 mark of the third period.
Gove fired a cross-ice pass to Allison Era on the blue line, who took a blast that redirected off the blade of Stewart’s stick and into the back of the net.
The Lakers were outshot, 14-4, in the final 20 minutes of regulation and could not sneak one past Sydney Aveson, who fended off all 15 shots for her third shutout of the season.
Plattsburgh finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Oswego was 0-for-3.
The Cardinals play host to Williams in their second-to-last non-conference bout of the season Wednesday at 7 p.m. before challenging rival Elmira in a highly-anticipated ECAC West showdown Saturday and Sunday.
Plattsburgh State 2, Oswego State 0
Oswego 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 0 1 1 — 2
First period- Penalties: Ganley, OSU (body checking), 8:14. Rutherford, PSU (hooking), 8:42.
Second period- 1, PSU, MacInnis (Stewart, Gove), 3:39. Penalties: Era, PSU (body checking), 8:32. Hunt, OSU (holding), 19:53.
Third period- 2, PSU, Stewart (Era, Gove), 14:18 (pp). Penalties: Ziesmann, PSU (hooking), 5:56. Boersen, OSU (interference), 13:35.
Shots on goal:
Oswego 5 6 4 — 15
Plattsburgh 10 16 14 — 40
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Smith, OSU, 40-38. Aveson, PSU, 15-15.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Oswego 0-3; Plattsburgh 1-3.