By RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — PLATTSBURGH — What a difference a day makes.
After settling for a 3-all tie with Utica College Saturday night, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team received goals from Jenny Kistner, Teal Gove and Bridget Balisy, for a 3-0 blanking of the Pioneers (10-7-2, 8-4-2 ECAC West) Sunday.
“I just thought our forecheck was a lot better and played better in our end,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “We just moved the puck and didn’t panic in our own zone. We were looking over our shoulder, seeing what options were there and made the right decisions.”
Kistner helped the No. 1-ranked Cardinals (20-0-2, 12-0-1 ECAC West) get on the board at 19:23 of the first period with a short-handed tally.
Chelsea VanGlahn tied up a Utica defenseman along the near-side boards and hit a streaking Kistner with a pass at the top of the circle. Kistner made multiple finesse moves in front before beating goaltender Marissa Hotaling glove side.
“It was a great play by (VanGlahn), she just worked her butt off to turn it over and made a nice pass,” Houle said. “(Kistner) did a nice job holding on to the puck, waiting for the goaltender to go down and putting it upstairs. It was a great goal, and it certainly gave us a boost.”
Plattsburgh’s best period of the weekend occurred in the middle stanza, when it outshot the Pioneers, 16-3, and registered two markers, extending the differential to a three-goal margin.
Gove collected her 19th of the year by batting a loose puck out of mid-air at 5:58 — one second after her team’s second power play of the afternoon expired.
Then, freshman Balisy beat a defender around the edge on the rush and lifted the puck over Hotaling into the back of the net.
“We were able to cycle the puck and control play,” Houle said. “I thought we continued that through the third, but the difference was our number of shots. It was one of those wins where you just keeping working hard and grind it out.”
Sydney Aveson recorded her fifth shutout of the season, saving all 15 shots faced, including multiple chances on two Utica power plays.
“(Aveson) has played great for us all year and didn’t have her best game (Saturday), but she bounced back,” Houle said. “She made the stops when she needed to. If one of those goes in, they have some momentum. She was certainly solid.”
The Cardinals have three games remaining on their regular season schedule beginning Sunday at Potsdam and wrapping up the following weekend at Neumann University.
“We’ve got a couple days off, so the girls have the opportunity to get some much-needed rest,” Houle said. “We’ll get ready for Potsdam and take it one game at a time.”
Plattsburgh State 3, Utica College 0
Utica 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 1 2 0 — 0
First period- 1, PSU, Kistner (VanGlahn), 19:23 (sh). Penalties: Beckman, UC (tripping), 5:55. Beckman, UC (10-misconduct), 5:55. Ziesmann, PSU (tripping), 18:29.
Second period- 2, PSU, Gove (Stewart, Gilligan), 5:58. 3, PSU, Balisy (Era), 17:27. Penalties: Schwartz, UC (cross-checking), 3:57. Dellechiaie, UC (holding), 5:58.
Third period- Penalties: VanGlahn , PSU (cross-checking), 11:07.
Shots on goal:
Utica 6 3 6 — 15
Plattsburgh 8 16 4 — 28
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Hotaling, UC, 28-25. Aveson, PSU, 15-15.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Utica 0-2; Plattsburgh 0-3.