January 15, 2013

Cardinals, Elmira on collision course

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State and Elmira College no doubt circled the weekend of Jan. 20-21 when the 2012-13 women’s hockey schedule was released last year.

The two combatants figured to be headed for another fierce fight for ECAC West supremacy and so far there has been no indication of a January thaw in the hotly contested rivalry. Indeed, the stakes have never been higher with Plattsburgh (13-0-1) ranked No. 1 in the U.S. College Hockey Online Div. III poll for the sixth week in a row and Elmira (15-1-1) a close third.

The two will face off Saturday and Sunday at Stafford Arena, at 7 p.m. and 3 p.m.

You only have to look at the series records to get an idea of the intensity in the matchups. Plattsburgh holds a 17-16-3 series lead with no other Cardinal opponent even close to that record.

The last time the two met in Plattsburgh, in 2011, Elmira won the first game, 3-2, with Plattsburgh rebounding for a 2-1 victory the next day. Last winter, in Elmira, the Cardinals skated to a 4-1 victory, but missed an opportunity at a sweep when the Soaring Eagles bounced back to win 2-1.

It’s also getting late in the season with only eight games left in the campaign after this weekend.

Elmira, which swept Chatham over the weekend, will have a week to get ready for Plattsburgh while the Cardinals have to be concerned with Williams College, which will visit Stafford Arena on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. face-off. The Ephs are 6-6 on the season.

There was very little change in this week’s D-3 women’s poll with Norwich University and Wisconsin-River Falls swapping places. The Cadets moved to fifth.

Cardinal men up to 9th

The Plattsburgh State men, in danger of dropping out of the top 15 last week after a stunning loss to Castleton (Vt.) State, steadied themselves, gaining one spot this week from 10th to ninth.

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