In order to score goals in hockey, a team must test the opposing goalie by firing as many shots as possible. This is something that the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team has been successful with early this season.

Throughout their first seven games, the Cardinals (4-0 ECAC, 6-0-1) have established themselves as a team that can shoot. The team has outshot opponents by an impressive 292-127, which displays the team’s offensive abilities. On average, PSUC is shooting 41.7 shots on goal per game compared to opponents, who average just 18.7.

In the Cards’ conference home-opener this past weekend, the team swept visiting Chatham (0-2 ECAC, 2-3) in back-to-back games to remain undefeated in ECAC West play. Outshooting the Cougars 104-42, PSUC was able to capitalize on their shots and finished the weekend with 17 goals scored compared to Chatham’s one.

Head coach Kevin Houle was pleased with his team’s performance as they returned to home ice and said that getting points early in the season is crucial.

“We took care of business this weekend,” Houle said. “These were two important games that you have and you can’t afford a slip up in these types of games.”

The Cards saw contributions from all of their lines in the weekend’s games and nine different players were able to find the back of the net. Freshman Kayla Meneghin led the team with five goals, including a hat trick in the second game. Meneghin leads the team with eight goals.

“She’s obviously had a great start to the season,” Houle said. She’s definitely played very well and has been very consistent, and that’s something that’s hard to do as a freshman.”

In a non-conference matchup against Castleton on Tuesday night, PSUC displayed its offensive ability, outshooting the Spartans 45-17. Defender Alyssa Parke said the Castleton goalie played well and attributes this as the reason why the team didn’t score off its opportunities.

“I think the amount of saves reflected how good she was,” Parke said. “She kept them in the game because we dominated play offensively, and to have her in net was big for them.”

PSUC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first period of play, but the Cougars didn’t let up and eventually evened the score 3-3.

With a mere 49 seconds remaining, sophomore Melissa Ames knocked one in the top corner and the Cards squeaked out a 4-3 win. Senior goalie Ally Ross finished the game with 14 saves, while Chatham’s goalie had 41. The Cards have been able to use their shots-on-goal advantage to come away with wins early on this season.

Junior forward Bridgit Balisy said her team came out strong and were able to create the opportunities on the offensive side.

“It’s always tough coming off a two-and-a-half hour bus ride and getting on the ice, but I think we did a good job coming out hard in the first period,” Balisy said. “In the second, we let up a bit and made a couple of mistakes and they were able to capitalize on those.”

Creating chances in the offensive third has not been an issue for PSUC early in this season, and this can clearly be reflected by the team’s shots on goal.

The Cards will have a week off before returning to action on their home ice against Potsdam (2-1-1 ECAC, 2-1-1), who won one game 4-3 and tied once against William Smith last week.

Email Alex Reynolds at alex.reynolds@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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