Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Cards rout Cortland with two victories

Last weekend saw the Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team continue its perfect record in 2017 with a pair of back to back routs at SUNY Cortland.

Assistant Coach C was restrained, but happy with her team’s performance since the New Year and last weekend.

“There’s always improvements to be made, but we’ve definitely come back after break and had a good start to the second semester,” Blanchard said. “We’re focused and prepared, and we’re not taking anyone lightly.”

It’s rather hard to think of just what those improvements would be though. The Cardinals are have won eight straight since Jan. 1, having outscored their opponents by four or more goals in five of those games, including the 7-0 and 8-0 wins last weekend. The matches were not just dominant affairs on the scoreboard, but in most other aspects of the game as well.

The shots were 45-13 and 51-12 in favor of the Cards in both games, while also commanding the face-off circle, winning 28 of 46 draws Friday, and 31 of 56 Saturday.

Blanchard was especially happy with the team’s all-around success.

“We did a pretty good job staying focused, and taking care of the little things,” Blanchard said.

The games were great full team efforts, but there were some stand out performers.

Sophomore goalie Kassi Abbot earned the first two shutouts of her career, stopping all thirteen shots sent her way Friday, and all twelve shots put on her net Saturday.

Abbott was happy, to say the least, about her breakout performance.

“I was pretty pumped,” Abbott said. “It was sick.”

Junior forward Melissa Sheeran continued her torrential offensive pace this season with a four goal performance in the first game, and a goal and two assists in the second game. All this productivity helped Sheeran hit several milestones. Friday, she tied Blanchard’s PSUC record of 20 game winning goals, and her goal in Saturday’s the Cards’ career goals list with 62, and 10th in career points with 122.

Blanchard commented on how she felt about having the opportunity to coach a player of that quality.

“You’re always excited when the players perform and achieve their goals,” Blanchard. “The hope is that each and every day your players get better, improve the program, and develop into the players they can be, and she’s done that.”

Sheeran and Abbott were not the only ones to get in on the milestone action. Junior forward Kayla Meneghin passed into 6th in Cards’ career assists with 75, and senior forward Melissa Ames played in her 100th career game.

Key contributions came from the entire team, though. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Millen won 10 face-offs in Friday’s game, and won nine of 12 in Saturday’s, while sophomore defenseman Maci Hoskins had three assists in Friday’s game, and sophomore forward Ashley Songin tallied two goals in Saturday’s tilt.

Songin was happy, but rather modest about her performances over the weekend.

“You can always do better,” Songin said. “I’m not disappointed, but you can always do more for the team.”

With this weekend’s two wins, PSUC improved its record to 18-1 overall, and 12-1 in ECAC Women’s West league play, and continue to top both the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) and D3hockey.com national polls.

Both Abbott and Songin stressed that despite the team’s massive success so far this season, the team’s mindset does not change
“We all have the same goal, we want to win it all,” Songin said. “As long as we have that mindset, we’ll keep winning.

“It’s the same (mindset) every day,” Abbott said. “We come in with the same energy every day.”

Next opponent up is SUNY Potsdam, and Blanchard underscored the fact that just because Potsdam is a bit lower down in the standings, they will not be taking them laying down.

“We approach every single team the same, you can’t take any of your opponents lightly,” Blanchard said. “We get everybody’s best game, so we’re going to have the same focus and preparedness as we would against any team.”

The Cards’ next game is Saturday Feb. 4th at SUNY Potsdam at 3 p.m.

Email sports at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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