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March 10, 2013

Cardinals best St. Norbert, secure spot in final four

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State was sitting on a 4-0 lead in the third period Saturday when St. Norbert found some life and was suddenly within two goals.

Plattsburgh Kevin Houle said the rally “absolutely” made him nervous.

But Emma Rutherford quickly scored an insurance goal and the Cardinals earned a 5-2 win in the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship quarterfinals at Stafford Ice Arena.

“You know, really we fell asleep,” Houle said of the third period. “We had a turnover in the neutral zone, and everybody watched the kid skate in all alone. Again we had a turnover just outside our defensive blueline, and they walked in again.

“You can’t give a team a chance to hang around, especially a team like that. They’ve had those breaks and opportunities, some late-game heroics and they believe in themselves. Fortunately we were able to get that fifth goal and breathe a little easier at that point.”

Plattsburgh (26-0-2) will play Middlebury in the semifinals Friday in Superior, Wisc.

Zoe Kurth put the Green Knights (18-10-2) on the board 8:14 into the third with a low wrist shot on the rush. St. Norbert got another good chance shortly afterward but hit the post, and Plattsburgh soon took a timeout to regroup.

Then Henriette Ostergaard banged in a shot from the slot to pull the Knights within 4-2 with 3:37 left. But Emma Rutherford sealed it 45 seconds later.

The shots were even at 6-6 in the third, but Plattsburgh held a 38-15 advantage for the game. Sydney Aveson made 13 saves to pick up the victory.

The Cardinals jumped in front 3:14 into the game when Mia Favretto’s shot from the point was deflected in by Teal Gove, who was left alone in front of the net. Plattsburgh went on the power play late in the period, and Chelsea VanGlahn scored from the right side three seconds before intermission.

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