Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cards staying focused

The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team saw its winning streak stretch to 16 games this past weekend, with two wins against No. 4 ranked Elmira College Saturday and Sunday.

The Soaring Eagles saw their own 10-game unbeaten streak end Saturday before losing the second game Sunday.

PSUC Head Coach Kevin Houle was happy with his team’s timely performance.
“It’s definitely a good time to be playing your best hockey,” Houle said. “We had a very good weekend.”

The Cardinals won Saturday’s game 4-2 and Sunday’s 4-0.

PSUC more than doubled up on Elmira in shots during Saturday’s game, but the Elmira kept it close. Sophomore forward Courtney Moriarty finally broke the 2-2 deadlock with about 17 minutes left in the game and capped off the night with an empty-net goal.

Moriarty was quite pleased with her personal performance over the weekend
“I knew it was going to be the biggest weekend of the season,” Moriarty said. “So I came out and gave it everything I had.”

‘Everything she had’ was also good enough to earn her Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women’s West Player of the Week honors, and a spot on the National Women’s Team of the Week.

Sunday’s Senior Night game was a bit more lopsided of an affair. With senior defenseman Erin Brand, goalie Camille Leonard, forward Jordan Lipson, forward Melissa Ames, defenseman Julia Duquette and forward Katelyn Turk all celebrating their final regular-season home game, the Cards capitalized on nearly every good chance they got.

They also got a great night out of their special teams with a goal on both the power-play and penalty kill, both scored by Lipson with assists from Moriarty on each, something Houle was quite pleased with.
“I was happy with our special teams,” Houle said. “We shut them (Elmira’s power play) out, and we got three (power play goals) of our own. I thought it was a pretty good outing for our special teams.”

In the games against Elmira, Leonard tied Sydney Aveson for the PSUC program record for wins as a goalie with 69 of them.

Houle himself expressed how lucky he and the Cards’ program has been to have not just Leonard, but a history of great goalies.
“We’ve been blessed with excellent goaltending over the years, so she’s kind of the next step in the tradition,” Houle said. We’ve had some great goaltenders over the years, like Sydney. Now Cammy has equaled the career wins of Syd, who’s probably considered our best goalie ever, so she’s right up there.”

Leonard’s wins also earned her honors similar to those of her teammate Moriarty, with Leonard earning ECAC Women’s West Goalie of the Week and a spot on the National Women’s Team of the Week.

When asked about all these accomplishments, Leonard was happy, but remained humble.
“I’ve been playing well, but I also think that it’s been a real team effort all through the season,” Leonard said. “Without the girls in front of me, I wouldn’t have been able to tie that record, so it’s just as much a team record as it is mine.”

Other strong performances include a one goal, two assist performance from junior defenseman Megan Crandell Saturday, after which she was later named as the third member of a trio of PSUC players to make it onto the National Women’s Team of the Week, along with Moriarty and Leonard.

Melissa Sheeran also continued to solidify her place as an offensive juggernaut on the team with a beautiful wrist shot goal on the power-play in Saturday’s close game.

Now, the Cards have just two more games before playoffs, both of them being on the road. Both Moriarty and Leonard stressed that the team wasn’t looking too far ahead, though.
“Right now we’re focusing on the two games we have,” Moriarty said. ”We know we want to get more, we want to get the extra four points this weekend.”
Leonard agreed.

“We’ve clinched the number one seed no matter what, but we want to go in and take those extra four points away from Buffalo State,” Leonard said. “We want to keep our streak going and keep playing with confidence.

Email Ben Watson

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