The No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team currently rides a 25-game ECAC West unbeaten streak that dates back to Jan. 29, 2012.
The Cardinals (12-0-1, 5-0-0 ECACW) will look to extend that mark when they host Cortland for a pair of conference games at Stafford Ice Arena at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Red Dragons (2-8-2, 1-4-1) are on a three-game losing streak and are 1-7-1 in their last nine games.
“We approach every opponent one game at a time,” Plattsburgh coach Kevin Houle said. “We realize that every time you hit the ice, there’s the potential to win or lose, so you have to play your best.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from them. They played us tough two years ago at home. It was a 1-1 game going into the third period. We respect our opponents, and we expect them to give us their best shot.”
Sophomore forwards Niamh O’Connor (3-4-7) and Katie Gili (1-3-4) are Cortland’s top point-getters. Five players have recorded three points this season.
Sophomore goaltender Deanna Meunier has seen time in 63.2 percent of the Red Dragons’ 12 games. Meunier sports a 1-5-1 record with a 2.47 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
Ashley Terry, a Saranac alumna who helped Beekmantown to a state championship in girls’ hockey last February, is a freshman defenseman for Earl Utter’s club.
A Redford native, Terry has seen time in all 12 games on the blue line.
After managing 2-1 leads early in the second period in back-to-back games, the Cardinals have pulled away with 4-1 victories over Manhattanville and Williams.
“We’ve got to realize that when you’re playing good hockey teams, not always are you going to jump out to a three-goal lead,” Houle said. “We have to prepare to win one-goal games and come from behind at times. Our goal, though, is to put teams away early.”
The Cardinals have put up eye-popping numbers through 13 games. Plattsburgh has outscored its opponents by a 60-3 margin, including a 38-1 differential at home, 20-1 on the road and 2-1 at neutral sites.
The Cardinals have averaged 4.62 goals per game, which ranks fourth out of 50 teams in Division III. Surrendering just three goals all season, Plattsburgh is first in scoring defense with a 0.23 goals-against average.
Today’s game will mark the club’s fourth contest in 13 days and the second straight outing where the Cardinals have had limited practice time between games.
“We just had a light skate (Wednesday) and got out there and picked it up (Thursday),” Houle said. “Practices have been fine and the girls are feeling good. It’s not like we’re playing too much hockey. It hasn’t been too much of a strain at this point.”
After Saturday, Plattsburgh will close out its January schedule with two conference games at Utica College Jan. 24 and 25.
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