Saturday, June 22, 2024

Cards beat Bears with balanced scoring

The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team continued its perfect 2017 with a 4-1 win last weekend against SUNY Potsdam and, and a mid-week win against Middlebury 4-0 Wednesday.
The wins improved its record to 20-1 overall, and 13-1 in the ECAC West.

As has been the case for most of the season, the Cardinals had balanced scoring against Potsdam, with nine separate Cardinals finding the scoresheet as part of the four goals, with three of them having multi-point nights.

Head Coach Kevin Houle was happy with that facet of the team’s performance against Potsdam, and all season.

“I think we’ve had pretty good secondary scoring when we’ve needed it this year,” Houle said. “But it’s always good to see different players step up and get on the score sheet.”

Those players included senior forward Katelyn Turk and freshman forward Meghan Kraus, who both had a goal and an assist in the game.

The scorers did include some more familiar faces, however.
Melissa Sheeran moved into sole possession of 1st overall in PSUC program history in game winning goals with 21 after scoring the winner Saturday, surpassing her assistant coach Danielle Blanchard’s mark of 20.

Sheeran had nothing but humble things to say about her milestone.
“I actually didn’t know about that (record),” Sheeran said. “But I couldn’t put the puck in the net if my line-mates weren’t passing to me. Team success comes first, and any time we’re winning games, that’s good enough for me.”

Junior forward Kayla Meneghin also had a milestone weekend, moving into a tie for 6th overall in Cards’ program history in assists.

Meneghin was predictably modest about her performance as well.
“To be honest, I don’t really think about it (milestones) that much,” Meneghin said. “I just go out there because I want to play and win, and I wouldn’t have the personal success without my line-mates.”

Another veteran of the team is inching closer to a record of her own. With the wins against Potsdam and Middlebury, senior goalie Camille Leonard is only two wins away from tying Sydney Aveson’s program record of 69 wins.

Houle was happy for his players, but was also of the same mind as them when it comes to what is important to focus on.
“I think everyone knows they’ve been great players here for a few years now,” Houle said. “The recognition is nice, but it’s not anything we’re too concerned about. Those are the kinds of things you look back on at the end of the year.”

The team has, as usual, had unbelievable success in most aspects of the game. One area where they have struggled a bit as of late, though, is on the power-play. After going 1 for 5 and 0 for 3 against Cortland, the power-play was again stymied in the game against Potsdam, where PSUC went 0 for 3. For Houle, this was somewhat of a cause for concern heading into a part of the schedule that includes some tougher opponents.

“Special teams are a big key to any team’s success, and it’s something we’re aware of that we haven’t been producing on the power-play as of late,” Houle said. “We’ve been doing a great job on the penalty kill. So if we can be on the positive side, or even when it comes special teams, we have a good shot at winning games, but it would certainly be more beneficial if we could put a few pucks in the net.”

Now the team is riding a 14-game win streak after Wednesday’s game against Middlebury. Sheeran admitted that the wins do feel good and are boosting confidence, but stressed that the team isn’t getting ahead of themselves.

“Anytime you can get a good win against a good team like Potsdam, it’s nice,” Sheeran said. “But we just have to keep taking it one game at a time moving forward.”

Houle felt similarly before Wednesday’s game against Middlebury, and the weekend’s games against Elmira, but added that he hopes the time might step it up a notch heading into some tough competition.

“Not that we’ve been bad the last couple weekends, but we’re going to be facing two of the top teams in the country (Middlebury and Elmira),” Houle said. “If we’re not at our best we could easily lose those games.”

Email Benjamin Watson

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