PLATTSBURGH — After winning what was an overtime thriller Tuesday night against No. 9 Norwich, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team was in danger of a letdown spot in their 3 p.m. matchup against Buffalo State on Friday. However, they didn’t seem to mind as the Cardinals soared for a shutout, 5-0 victory at home.
The Lady Cardinals were firing on all cylinders throughout the contest, outshooting the Bengals, 69-10, to propel the team past the Bengals. With the win, the Cardinals not only remain undefeated this season (6-0), but also extend their unbeaten streak against the Bengals to 49 games (48-0-1).
It took almost no time for the Cardinals to assert that dominance either, as they would score three goals in the first period to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Just two minutes into the contest, Nicole Unsworth would sneak one past Bengals goalie Jessica Auge, off passes from Ciara Wall and Tatem Cheney, to take the early advantage.
Six minutes later, Ivy Boric, after intercepting a Bengals pass, would skate down the ice and make a brilliant one-on-one move to score around Auge, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The team would score their third goal of the period at the 15-minute mark, while on a power play.
With the Bengals down a skater, the Cardinals made sure to capitalize, as the OT-hero from Tuesday’s contest, Julia Masotta, would score off assists from Kendall Wasik and Wall. Even though the team held a 3-0 lead after one period, Cardinals’ head coach Kevin Houle still believed his team could kick it up a notch.
“You always have that potential for this game to be a letdown and I talked about that before the game. Even though we came out of the first period, 3-0, I don’t think we played particularly well. I thought that was our worst period of the game even though we scored the most,” said Houle. “We were kind of opportunistic and we gave up too many chances, but we’re fortunate Chloe [Beaubien] made a couple of big saves and we came out of it leading, 3-0, where it could have been a different game.”
The Bengals were able to get off five shots in the first period, which was half of their total for the entire match. That would change in the second period, as the Cardinals turned up the heat on defense, limiting their opponent to just three shots.
The Cardinals were letting their defensive play create opportunities on the offensive end as well, scoring twice more in the second period to extend their lead to 5-0. Boric would also record her second goal of the game in the period as, just one minute in, she scored off a pass from Unsworth and Su-An Cho, to open up a four-goal advantage.
Boric, who entered the contest with seven goals, raised her total to nine, securing her place as the team’s top goal scorer this season.
Friday’s game was also one for milestones, as at the seven minute mark of the second period, Wall would score her first career goal while on a Cardinal power play, off a pass from Mattie Norton, to pull away for a 5-0 lead.
The score would hold that way for the remainder of the period, sending the Cardinals into the third period with an impressive five-goal edge. While they wouldn’t score in the third, it was their defensive play that took center stage as they would hold the Bengals to just two shots, their lowest total in a period of the match.
“I don’t think the game was ever in question after the first period but I thought our third period was probably our best. We didn’t score but we played well,” said Houle. “I was just happy with the effort and taking care of the puck and creating scoring chances.”
While the Cardinals got to celebrate their victory Friday night, they are tasked with a quick turnaround, as the team will take the ice again today, at 3 p.m., against Morrisville at home. The Cardinals have won nine consecutive meetings against the Mustangs, but Houle knows they’re going to need a better opening period than they had Friday in order to get that streak to 10.
“Morrisville is a solid team. They have some talented players and if we come out flat, it could be a different story,” said Houle. “We have to be focused, prepared to play and come out with a little more intensity than we had today.”
Plattsburgh State 5, Buffalo State 0
BSU 0 0 0 — 0
PSU 3 2 0 — 5
First Period- 1, PSU, Unsworth (Wall, Cheney), 2:12. 2, PSU, Boric, 8:36. 3, PSU, Masotta (Wasik, Wall), PP, 15:34.
Second Period- 4, PSU, Boric (Unsworth, Cho), 1:31. 5, PSU, Wall (Norton), PP, 7:10.
Shots- PSU, 69-10.
Saves- Auge, BSU, 48. Beaubien, PSU, 6.