The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team finished off its exhibition schedule in high-scoring fashion last Saturday, beating the Ottawa Lady 67’s Intermediate AA team 9-1.
The Cardinals beat the junior team from Canada with goals from six scorers across all four academic years.
Head coach Kevin Houle was happy to see his team continue its strong offensive start, but knows it doesn’t mean much yet.
“It’s always good to get off to a good start whether it’s an exhibition game or not in terms of getting some confidence,” Houle said. “But all that’s out the door now when we begin the regular season on Friday.”
Leading the way for PSUC against the Lady 67’s was freshman forward Moe Tsukimoto, who scored a hat-trick in her second collegiate game.
Senior forward and captain Courtney Moriarty, who tallied a goal and an assist of her own in the game, had nothing but great things to say about the Sapporo, Japan, native.
“She’s a beast,” Moriarty said. “She knows that she can power through anyone if she wants to. She just makes her way to the net. In [Saturday’s game], she just fired the puck. Even when she wasn’t in the right position, it was going in.”
Sophomore forward Annie Katonka was also a standout in the game, scoring two goals while helping on three others, earning her a five-point night.
She was just happy to get the win.
“It’s nice when freshmen are able to get some confidence,” Katonka said. “Even scoring a dirty goal feels good.”
The Cards started fast and furious against Ottawa, scoring three before the 10 minute mark of the first.
Houle wants this to become a recurring theme.
“We had a couple of goals in that first period, and we came out with a lead,” Houle said. “The week before, we didn’t, and we had to kind of grind it out for a couple periods, so we understand that can be the case on a lot of occasions.”
Senior goalie Kassi Abbott stopped all 12 shots she faced before freshman goalie Ashley Davis let in one of the 10 shots she faced in the final 22:36 of the game.
PSUC outshot Ottawa 48-22 in the game en route to the 9-1 victory. In a game that the Cards were very clearly dominating, it would be easy to think that team focus could waver.
According to Moriarty, the Cards just used it to drive them.
“It challenges us to try to stay focused,” Moriarty said. “You do start losing that intensity because you know you’re up by a lot. It challenges us to stay together, and keep each other going, because that’s what we’re going to need in the future playing against bigger teams.”
Next up, PSUC will open NEWHL conference play against SUNY Cortland with a pair of games this weekend.
While the Cards beat Cortland in all four matchups last season, the Red Dragons did keep it tied going into the third period Jan. 21, a feat that many NEWHL opponents couldn’t manage.
“Cortland is a team that gave us a hard time on at least one occasion last year, so they are going to game plan and be ready for us,” Houle said. “The girls are excited, and the coaches are excited for a regular season game. These are the games that count, and you can’t slip up.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org