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January 7, 2013

No. 1 Plattsburgh State scores four unanswered to beat No. 5 Norwich at home

PLATTSBURGH — This might have been the statement win the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team was looking for.

Down 2-0, the No. 1-ranked Cardinals (11-0-1) rallied for four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 victory over No. 5 Norwich University (6-2-3) at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena Sunday afternoon.

After playing what head coach Kevin Houle said was one of their worst periods this season, Shannon Stewart put the Cardinals on the board with a backhand shot in the low slot with 11.6 left in the second period.

“That’s a huge goal heading into the third period with some momentum, and it showed,” Houle said. “We came out in the third and played with more intensity. We just had to come out of that hole we were faced with in the second period, and that goal helped.

“We made a couple adjustments, but the biggest thing was that we needed to start winning some loose pucks. It paid off, and it’s a credit to the girls for going out and executing and getting the job done.”

As if it were a tale of two periods, the Cardinals managed to control possession and win 50-50 battles on the boards. The result — Teal Gove punching home a trickling puck in the paint at 1:46 of the third to tie it.

Then, the unlikely happened.

Ali Vakos, in her first game for Plattsburgh since transferring from Connecticut College after the first semester, raced up the far-side boards on a breakaway and went top shelf on Cadets goaltender Kelly Fisk for the eventual game-winner.

“I think (Norwich) got caught on a change, but she was flying down the wing after coming off the bench,” Houle said. “That was a great goal. She went upstairs on the shortside, and it was a great finish for her.”

Mia Favretto provided the insurance goal with her first marker of the year just 51 seconds later.

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