March 3, 2013

Cardinal women to play for ECAC title

PLATTSBURGH — Teal Gove just couldn’t be denied. 

The Berwick, Ont., native helped the No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team to a 5-0 blanking of Neumann University with her first career hat trick in Saturday’s ECAC West semifinal at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

“Sometimes the puck goes in,” Cardinals (24-0-2) coach Kevin Houle said. “She’s had a phenomenal year for us. (Gove) has a knack for scoring goals, and she’s there in front for tip-ins. She’s a goal scorer, and I can’t say enough good things about the kid.”

Plattsburgh’s Ali Vakos opened the game’s scoring with a redirect in front at the 18:40 mark of the opening period.

After Alyssa Parke slipped around a defenseman in the high slot, the sophomore committed to a backhand shot, which caught the blade of Vakos’ stick and into the back of the net.

The Cardinals concluded the first 20 minutes of play with a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard and a 21-8 advantage in shots on goal.

“I thought the first period; we gave up some real quality opportunities to Neumann. I know we outshot them 21-8, but their eight shots on net…three of them were point blank,” Houle said. “If you give up a goal there, it can be a different game for sure. After that, I thought we really controlled the play.”

With a lengthy shift occurring in the Knights (10-16-1) zone, Parke assisted on her second goal of the night with a blast from the right point.

Gove was able to get her stick on the ice, deflecting the puck passed Neumann goaltender Shannon Donnelly.

“They kind of pack it in around the net, so we knew we were going to have to move the puck around up top and get pucks through,” Houle said. “Once we got bodies in front, crashed the net and looked for the rebound, we were able to finish them off.

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