The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team jumped out to a hot start against the Kangaroos of SUNY Canton this Saturday, winning 5-0.
The Cardinals smothered Canton with a relentless offensive showing, outshooting them 51-5.
The high-scoring affair was also special-teams heavy, as Canton took 10 penalties to PSUC’s six.
“Obviously we didn’t count on having a few powerplays and penalty kills,” head coach Kevin Houle said. “That was certainly excessive, but that’s what you expect at the beginning of the season, especially in exhibition.”
The Cards only managed one powerplay goal on the night. Houle was happy with the special teams performance as a whole, but will use what he saw today to improve as the season continues.
“Obviously we have some things to work on,” Houle said. “You want to win the game, but you wanna get a lot out of it terms of where you are and where certain players are.”
After a scoreless first period, senior forward Jen Manning opened the scoring 5:19 into the second, backhanding it from the middle of a scrum and sliding it past the goaltender.
That stood as the lone goal for just under 14 more minutes before freshman forward Moe Tsukimoto scored a goal in her first taste of college icetime by ramming home a loose puck on the right side of the Canton crease.
Tsukimoto was one of the nine freshman that saw playtime in Saturday’s exhibition, and she was impressed by how it felt to take the ice for her new team.
“It’s totally different from high school hockey. The first period felt so fast, it was kind of surprising, but then I picked it up.”
Sophomore forward Annie Katonka did her part on the day as well, scoring once while adding two assists, including one on Tsukimoto’s goal.
“First period was kind of slow, but that’s kind of expected at the beginning of the season,” Katonka said. “Once we started to get the rhythm going, it felt good.”
Katonka said that the team was a little frustrated that they didn’t have a chance to see much five-on-five action in the game, but was happy when they were able to settle in in the third.
“When it’s always penalties, it’s hard to get used to the five-on-five [play],” Katonka said. “I think overall as a team we did really well with adjusting to it.”
Senior goalie Kassi Abbott made two saves before freshman goalie Ashley Davis made three while playing a little over seven minutes at the end of the third period.
Next up will be a game against the Ottawa Lady 67’s Intermediate AA at home this coming Saturday at 3 p.m.
As the team prepares for its second and final exhibition game, Houle is completely focused on getting the team to where it needs to be before the regular season rolls around.
“We haven’t thrown a whole lot at the girls in terms of systems and whatnot, so we’re going to start to ramp that up a bit just to make sure we’re sound in what we do,” Houle said. “That will be a little more intense this week, and even more next week as we gear up to open the regular season.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org