For the abundance of fans who enter the Stafford Ice Arena almost every weekend, their coveted seats will be in higher demand as it is time for playoffs.
As a result of their nearly perfect regular season record, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team (24-1-0) will have a bye for the commencement of playoff competition.
The Cardinals will await the outcome of Buffalo State against Oswego State to see whom they will play. Whatever the outcome of that game may be, PSUC is ready for any team that comes their way this postseason.
“Right now, it’s anyone’s game,” sophomore forward Kayla Meneghin said. “Hopefully, whoever we have to play, we’re just going to play our game and come out stronger.”
Oswego is the better-known team of the anticipated match up, as they have had a long standing rivalry with the Cards over the past years. However, Buffalo State is a team on the rise. In the past encounters this season that PSUC has had with Buffalo State, the Cards came out on top in 5-2 and 2-0 decisions.
Although the team is without a doubt ready heading into playoffs, this bye week does seem to be beneficial to some of the players that have experienced injury recently. In the Cards only loss this season against Utica, Melissa Sheeran injured her leg and has been using her time wisely to get back to full health.
“Hockey’s hockey,” Sheeran said. “Whether you’re hurt or not, you just got to get back in the motion, getting the timing back, getting my legs back, but I felt good today, so we’ll see.”
In terms of practice, just because the Cards have extended time to prepare does not mean they are toning it down in any way.
Junior goaltender Camille Leonard has noticed the team going a lot harder since their loss at Utica.
“We’re looking to stay consistent as we have been in the past,” Leonard said. “We’re going to keep working hard and find the back of the net.”
Scoring has been one of the Cards’ strong suits this season as they have been able to dominate teams with a highly productive offense. The team still continues to find ways to improve their already skilled offense by communicating with each other.
Leonard has insight to what good scorers do as she is on the defensive end of this battle. She urges her teammates to look for more backdoor open players.
Looking forward, the team is going to play like they always have. They have come accustom to playing with a target on their back, and this is something the Cards like as they are on top of the leader board being hunted down.
PSUC plans to take all of the good and bad from this season and use that to help them in their playoff endeavors.
“It’s important that we give every game our best shot, no matter who the team is,” Sheeran said. “Coming into the playoffs, I think we have some points to prove here, so that’s how were going to take it.”
The Cards start their playoff journey Saturday, March 5, against the winner of Oswego and Buffalo State.
Email Kevin Morley at firstname.lastname@example.org