The Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team was able to take their second straight NCAA tournament crown by beating Elmira 3-2 Saturday night.

Head coach Kevin Houle said that both teams played a hard fought game.

“I thought it was a great game, lots of back and forth play, lots of chances on both ends of the ice,” Houle said.

The Cardinals took the lead 7:14 into the first period when junior forward Giovanna Senese was able to score a short-handed goal. PSUC was down a player after a penalty call and was able to use their speed to score a goal and get them the early lead in the game.

“They fumbled the puck I think a little bit there, at least that’s what I guess happened,” Senese said. “Playing, when you get the best things, you don’t think you just play and when I saw her (Kyle Nelson) go for it, I just went for the goal.”

The Cards would take that lead into the second period, where Elmira would try to make a comeback. Ashley Ryan was able to score 1:51 into the second to tie the game.

PSUC came back with 14:48 gone in the second with a goal from junior forward Bridget Bailey off an assist from senior forward Shannon Stewart, giving the Cards back the lead at 2-1. Both teams would fight to get a goal to go in, but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and ended the second period with PSUC leading 2-1.

“The second period was probably our best period from start to finish,” Houle said. “We had some chances to go up a couple goals, and we hit a cross bar and put one over the net in tight.”

The third period would bring the matchup down to the wire.

The Cards gave themselves a lead with a Kayla Meneghin goal off an assist from Giovanna Senese on a two on one fast break. This lead was short lived, with Elmira coming right back and scoring just 30 seconds later. The goal was scored by Olivia Nystrom.

The Cards were soon able to celebrate being able to hold off Elmira for the rest of the game and keep the NCAA trophy at PSUC.

Sophomore goalie Camille Leonard made 22 saves on 24 shots and Elmira goalie Kyle Nelson made 27 saves on 30 shots in the game. Leonard said the team did a good job at keeping their cool.

“I think we did a great job not getting all caught up in all the pressure at the last minute, and we just did a good job keeping it out of our end and staying calm,” Leonard said.

This marks the second-straight NCAA crown for the Cards with five seniors graduating with another championship win.

Champions Again! from CardinalPointsMedia on Vimeo.

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/nick-topping/" rel="tag">Nick Topping</a>