The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team closed out its regular season with another pair of wins last weekend, beating Buffalo State 9-1 Saturday and 4-1 Sunday.
Sunday’s game was senior night for right wing Kayla Meneghin, captain left wing Melissa Sheeran, defenseman Lizzy Viola and goalie Brooke Wolejko.
Assistant coach Danielle Blanchard stressed that while the team ended up on the right end of things, the Bengals gave them a fight.
“I think in general, the score wasn’t quite a reflection of the games,” Blanchard said. “Buffalo came out strong. They were out here working hard and I think we just capitalized on a couple of good chances and found our touch.”
The No. 1/2 Cardinals (21-2-2, 15-0-1) outshot the Bengals (13-10-2, 9-6-1) 51-20 Saturday before outshooting them 35-28 Sunday.
Saturday’s game saw seven different goal scorers including a natural hat trick from junior left wing Courtney Moriarty.
“She’s always had the talent level, and she’s always worked hard,” Blanchard said. “I don’t know if you want to say that she’s in the groove, in the flow, but she’s just taken her game to a new level and hasn’t looked back this season.”
Sheeran had an extremely productive night herself, putting up a goal and four assists in Saturday’s contest.
“I got a lot of assists and goals, but people have to put the puck in the net for me to get an assist, and oftentimes people have to pass me the puck for me to get a goal,” Sheeran said. “I think overall as a team we played very well.”
Goals also came from freshman defenseman Kerri Corcoran, her first career goal, junior defenseman Baye Flanagan, senior defenseman Lizzy Viola, freshman center Annie Katonka and sophomore left wing Sarah Wolf.
Sunday’s game saw two players hit major career milestones, with Moriarty hitting and passing the 100 point mark and Meneghin hitting the 100 assist mark.
Moriarty was quick to to credit her teammates.
“Being our last two games right before playoffs, we really wanted to go out on a high note,” Moriarty said. “It was just being in the right place at the right time and coming in good contact with my linemates.”
Meneghin felt similarly about her milestone.
“It’s cool, but I can’t do it without my teammates.”
Sheeran was a bit quicker to praise the pair.
“Whenever you can play with a player like Kayla [Meneghin] you’re lucky,” Sheeran said. “Same thing with Court [Moriarty]. I’ve known her for a very long time and played with her for even longer. She’s a great girl, and I only wish her the best.”
Moriarty’s efforts earned her a second consecutive and fifth overall NEWHL Player of the Week honor, as well as a second consecutive d3hockey.com Team of the Week honor. Katonka earned her third NEWHL Rookie of the Week honor of the season.
Sunday’s game was far from a clean affair, with 58 penalty minutes doled out between the two teams, with 30 of them distributed after one after-whistle scrum 16:38 into the second period.
“Sometimes when you get those penalty minutes, you’re going to your go-to penalty killers and power-play [players], and it does take away from the flow a little bit,” Blanchard said.
“You just want to get back to 5 on 5 hockey.”
Junior goalie Kassi Abbott and Wolejko split the weekend’s starts, with Abbott stopping 19 shots Saturday before Wolejko stopped 27 Sunday.
Next up, PSUC will face the Potsdam Bears (12-11-2, 4-10-2) in an NEWHL semifinal game tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.
“It’s crunch time now,” Sheeran said. “Potsdam is a very good team, so we shouldn’t take them lightly. Going into that game, I don’t think we will. I think it will be a tough test, but I think we’re ready.”
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