The top-ranked Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team held off a late Panthers charge to claim its sixth Panther/Cardinal Classic title by beating host No. 5 Middlebury College, 2-1, on Sunday at Chip Kenyon Arena. Plattsburgh State, which twice defeated top-5 teams this weekend, improves to 9-1, while Middlebury moves to 3-1. Plattsburgh State is tied with Elmira College atop the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll this week.
Junior Kayla Meneghin (Clifton, N.J./The Gunnery) and classmate Melissa Sheeran (Schaghticoke, N.Y./Millbrook School both logged one goal and one assist, with sophomore Ashley Songin (Springville, N.Y./Nichols School) also assisting once. Senior Camille Leonard (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Jr. Hornets) stopped 24 shots in the win. Sheeran was named as the Classic’s most outstanding player, while Leonard and junior Megan Crandell (Fuller, Calif./Saint Norbert) were chosen for the all-tournament team.
Middlebury junior Maddie Winslow scored and senior Carly Watson and sophomore Jenna Marotta assisted. Freshman Lin Han recorded 13 saves.
Middlebury outshot Plattsburgh State, 7-4, in the opening period, but it was Plattsburgh State that owned a 1-0 lead. While possessing down in the Cardinals’ offensive end, Sheeran fed a pass from the left side to a crashing Meneghin, who deposited a low shot into the net just 56 seconds into play. Songin tried to add onto the lead at 3:25, but her right-circle bid rang off the crossbar. The Panthers then looked to have the equalizer on a power play midway through the stanza, but a ruled high stick washed out the would-be goal. Leonard ended the period with a glove stop on Middlebury junior Haley LaFontaine’s point shot.
The Cardinals stretched their lead to 2-0 after the second period, despite the Panthers once again owning the edge in shots. At 3:30, Middlebury junior Janka Hlinka saw her power-play bid from the top of the crease smothered by Leonard. Sheeran was rejected by Han on a 2-on-1 at 6:51, but Sheeran capitalized with a goal at 9:58 when she took the loose puck in the slot and deposited a shot inside the left post. Panther junior Jessica Young was denied by Leonard’s right pad after darting up ice on a breakaway with two minutes remaining in the frame.
Middlebury gained an early 5-on-3 chance in the final period. After Leonard stopped two shots during the Cardinals’ penalty kill, the Panthers finally broke through with a Winslow power-play goal at 5:51 to make the game 2-1. Marotta connected with Watson on a D-to-D pass, with Watson shoveling down a left-side pass to Winslow, who fired a shot inside the left post. Later in the period, Meneghin raced out of the penalty box for a breakaway, but her low shot was kicked away by Han. Middlebury’s best chance to pull even came with 1:57 remaining as Leonard flashed the glove to rob Young, who was wide open in the slot. With the Middlebury net empty, the Panthers fired a trio of extra-player shots but Leonard stood firm in net.
Plattsburgh State wraps up its first-semester slate with a home contest against Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women’s West counterpart SUNY Potsdam on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Courtesy: Plattsburgh State Athletics
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