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January 31, 2013

Era nets game-winner to keep Cardinals unbeaten

PLATTSBURGH — At this rate, Plattsburgh State women’s hockey coach Kevin Houle should consider changing his team’s nickname to the “Cardiac Cardinals.”

Allison Era’s highlight-reel goal with 7:20 gone in the third period helped the No. 1-ranked Cardinals (19-0-1) to an emotional 3-1 win over fifth-ranked Middlebury College at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena Wednesday.

“What we’re concerned about is playing good hockey and I’ll tell you what — that hasn’t always been the case this year. (Wednesday), we played our best hockey,” Houle said. “Fortunately, we’ve been able to find ways to win in tight games, especially against quality opponents.”

Panthers (12-3-2) goaltender Laura Pinsent was able to keep Houle’s squad scoreless for the first 31:22 of the game before Chelsea VanGlahn jammed in a loose puck, giving Plattsburgh a 1-0 lead at 11:23 of the middle period.

“After (Breanne Bennett) redirected the point shot, the puck basically came right to me,” VanGlahn said. “I was in the right place at the right time to hammer it home. The adrenaline rush afterward sort of lifted our team and got us rolling.”

Morgan MacInnis nearly made it 2-0 at the end of the second period when she skated in for a breakaway opportunity. But her wrist shot appeared to hit the post and bounce back into play.

“The puck looked like it went off the inside of the pipe and came out,” Houle said. “I had no problem with the call; it very well may have (gone in), but it happened so fast.”

Plattsburgh maintained a one-goal lead until Middlebury’s Madison Styrbicki notched the game at 1-all with a power-play goal at 1:55 of the third stanza.

“Even when the score was 1-1, we kept plugging away,” Houle said. “When you’re playing against a goalie that’s having a good night, you can’t get frustrated. That goal could’ve turned the tide for them, but our kids remained composed.”

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