The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team claimed its 17th straight win to move on to the championship game of the NEWHL. The No. 1 seed beat No. 4 seed SUNY Cortland in the semi-finals with a 3-0 shut-out victory last Saturday.
Junior forward Abby Brush put the Cardinals up 1-0 halfway into the second period with her 12th goal of the season, assisted by junior forward Annie Katonka and sophomore forward Sara Krauseneck.
Katonka doubled the lead for PSU in the third period with her 20th goal of the season with assists from junior defenseman and team captain Erin McArdle and Krauseneck. Katonka now has 40 points from her 20 goals and 20 assists in the season. McArdle recorded her 20th assist of the season with this assist.
“Being able to help your team in any way possible is awesome. Scoring 20 goals in a year is really cool, but it’s not something I look into too much. I just try to play every game and do my best,” Katonka said.
Sophomore defenseman Sierra Benjamin scored the final goal in the third period to give the Cards a comfortable 3-0 win. This was her second goal of the season and was assisted by sophomore defenseman Hannah Rose. Benjamin feels it was “really cool” to score a goal in the semi-finals as a defenseman.
“I was actually playing center during the time I scored. It was nice. Scoring as a defenseman usually does not happen, so it was cool,” Benjamin said.
Sophomore goaltender Ashley Davis recorded her sixth shutout of the season, making 16 saves in the process. Davis has been named the Northeast Women’s Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Year. The award is voted upon by the head coaches of the NEWHL and was announced by the league Tuesday.
“It’s an exciting thing to get. I mean you don’t focus on these, but it’s obviously a nice recognition and is definitely a confidence booster,” Davis said. “You can’t do this all by yourself, and I’ve got the girls every game in front of me to help me make it happen.”
Her NEWHL statistics include a 0.86 goals against average and a .940 save percentage, and she has recorded 158 saves while allowing just 10 goals. At the national level, Davis ranks second in total wins and ties for first in winning percentage. She also ranks fifth in goals against average and 11th in save percentage in NCAA Division III women’s hockey. She is tied for sixth in the nation in shutouts with six.
PSU is now set to face the No. 2 seed Oswego State at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. Head coach Kevin Houle knows the players know about the importance of the game despite a hard semi-final game.
“It’s the play-offs. It’s a one-and-done situation, so we have to be at our best,” Houle said. “The game versus Cortland was a struggle and hopefully we will come out better than last week.”
Email Amay Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org