This Spring break, the Plattsburgh State women’s hockey team was able to start on a high note with a win in the quarter final round of the NCAA tournament.

The Cardinals were able to achieve a 4-1 win over University of St. Thomas. This win makesPSUC the host of the semifinal and final rounds of the NCAA tournament.

“It makes a difference,” Head coach Kevin Houle said. “You’re comfortable in your own rink, your own locker room. It’s nice to be home again for sure,”

The Cards started out with a 1-0 lead early on during the first period with senior forward Shannon Stewart scoring the first goal, her 20th goal of the season.

“It was nice to get the first goal and I thought that gave us some momentum,” Stewart said. “We kept going with that momentum throughout the whole game.”

With tough goaltending by both teams, the score would remain the same until the third period when PSUC would add two more in a span of two minutes with goals from freshman forward Melissa Sheeran and junior forward Bridget Balisy.

Sophomore goalie Camille Leonard allowed only one goal with 28 saves, making it a combined three goals allowed in three games combined in the ECAC west tournament and the NCAA tournament.

“I thought we had a fewer of the better scoring chances,” head coach Tom Palkowski of St. Thomas said. “Their goalie made a few phenomenal saves and kept us from really getting the momentum of taking over.”

With eight minutes left in the third period, the Tommies would strike back as junior defense Tori Baliey shot one past Leonard to give the team their first goal.

The Cards would answer back quickly with junior forward Giovanne Senese scoring. Senese was able to get the puck back to the Tommies side, where they have removed their goalie, giving her an easy goal.

“From the get go, we knew it was going to be a tough game,” St. Thomas’s junior goalie Taylor Nieson said. “Getting through those first two periods was tough and the third one would have been great to get through.”

Once the buzzer sounded, the Cards would jumped from their seats and skate all the way to their home net, crowding it with cheer and joy coming from the Cards faces.

This is the second year in a row the Cards eliminated St. Thomas. Last year, PSUC won 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA semifinals at the Stafford ice arena.

“They contested every single puck and every single play.” Houle said. “They certainly made us work extremely hard for that W.”

This is the Cards fourth straight final four appearance and second straight year hosting. On March 20 at 3:30 p.m., PSUC will be playing against Norwich, who beat Middlebury 3-2 in their first round matchup game.

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/alex-ayala/" rel="tag">Alex Ayala</a>