Throughout the six games Plattsburgh State women’s hockey has played this season, the team has built a reputation for being an offensive powerhouse. However, the constant dominance of their defense has been the true secret behind the Cards’ success.

This past weekend, PSUC traveled over nine hours southeast where they faced off against the Chatham Cougars. They played two games over the course of two days, and both games were a testament to the relentless defense PSUC has become known for. As a result, both games ended in a shutout.

The backbone of the defense comes in the form of junior goalie Camille Leonard.

Three of the Cardinals six wins have resulted in shutouts, and Leonard has been the epitome of the cause. She is currently sitting on a shut out streak that has lasted 11 periods of play and 650 minutes.

“She’s been unbelievable,” head coach Kevin Houle said. “We just hope to see this caliber of performance continue throughout the season.”

If Leonard can continue to not let pucks past her, it looks like the Cards will be in outstanding shape for the rest of the season. However, since this is way too much to ask of just one player, PSUC looks to focus on their team as a whole to get the job done.

Looking forward, PSUC has a three game stretch of non-conference games until they meet with the likes of Potsdam and Buffalo State.

Currently, Buffalo State and PSUC stand atop the ECAC standings; both having an undefeated conference record of 4-0.

However, despite the anticipation of this showdown by many fans, the Cards look to take each game as seriously as the next.

“We have to take it one game at a time,” sophomore forward Melissa Sheeran said. “Obviously scoring goals is important, but defense wins games.”

Sheeran’s defensive mentality is one that is shared throughout the entire team.

Although offensive displays get the fame and glory of the sport, it is the gritty nature of defense that has led PSUC to success recently. It will also be the aspect of the game that will lead the Cards to victory when the goals aren’t coming as frequently as they have been.

Up until this point in the season, the Cards have been on a scoring tear, outscoring their opponents by upward of four goals each game.

One of the players who received recognition for her offensive dominance was Kayla Menghin, as she won ECACW Player of the Week this past week. The second-year forward was vital in PSUC’s win over Chatham due to the fact that she scored the first three goals in the match on Friday.

“It felt great just to help my team,” Meneghin said. “I can only hope that we keep going strong.”

Going strong is an understatement when it comes to talking about the roll that the Cards have been on thus far. They are currently 6-0, and it doesn’t look like that undefeated record is going to be taken from them easily.

Their offensive and defensive fronts work together to dominate teams week in and week out.

Email Kevin Morley at kevin.morley@cardinalpointsonline.com

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