PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team captured their second-straight and fourth National Championship on Saturday night defeating the Elmira Soaring Eagles 3-2.
Plattsburgh State would take a penalty 6:32 into the game but it was the Cardinals that struck first on a Giovanna Senese breakaway short-hand goal. The Huntley, Ill., native deked forehand before roofing one backhand over Elmira goaltender Kyle Nelson.
Elmira would respond quickly in the second period as 2015 Laura Hurd winner Ashley Ryan would slip one through the legs of Leonard to tie the game 1-1, 1:51 into the middle frame.
Junior, Bridget Balisy would put the Cardinals back on the top 2-1 when she collected a loose puck off an Elmira defenseman in front of the net before making a move beating Nelson five-hole.
The Cardinals would add to their lead making it a 3-1 game when Kayla Meneghin received a cross ice pass right at the bottom of the right circle putting it short side over Nelson.
Elmira wouldn’t go down quietly and would take back some of the momentum when Olivia Nystrom beat Leonard just 29 seconds after Plattsburgh State score its third goal.
Elmira would pull their goalie to try to gain the equalizer but the Cardinals defense wouldn’t break steering away every Elmira opportunity.
Leonard would make 22 saves on 24 shots while Nelson would make 27 on 30 shots.
The 2015 NCAA All-Tournament team featured Norwich’s Kaycie Anderson and UW-River Fall’s Paige Johnson. From Elmira was Ashley Ryan and representing Plattsburgh State was Balisy, Leonard and tournament MVP Giovanna Senese.
Plattsburgh State finished 26-2-2 and hoisted its second National Championship in the Stafford Ice Arena in as many seasons.
Elmira ended the season 26-3-1 and in second place.
It was the fifth time Plattsburgh State and Elmira with the Cardinals claiming a slight edge 3-2 on the season.
With the win Plattsburgh State becomes the all-time leader in National Championships claiming its fourth title.
NORWICH vs. ELMIRA
Saturday evening showcased the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Third Place game between UW-River Falls and Norwich which saw the Falcons top the Cadets, 4-3.
UW-River Falls would get on the board first when Carly Moran would slid a backhander pass Cadet goalie Laurie King. Moran received a pass from Dani Sibley before cutting across slot beating King for the 1-0 lead.
The Cadets counter with an Erin Joyce goal to tie the game at one apiece. Joyce camped out in front of the net tipped in a Kaycie Anderson shot from the right point past Falcons goaltender Angie Hall.
The Cadets would take control of the game early in the second period scoring two goals in a 1:37 span, but UW-River Falls would respond.
First for the Cadets was junior Rachel Bellio burying a cross ice pass from Adelle Murphy beating a sliding Hall.
Norwich would then gain a 3-1 advantage Kaycie Anderson’s third goal in two games. Anderson was Johnny on the spot recovering a loose puck after an initial shot from Madison Gallagher went wide.
The Falcons would get one back moments later. After Norwich switched goalies to senior Loren Carrier, Emily Stark would take advantage and beat Carrier with a wrist-shot from the blue-line.
UW-River Falls would tie the game up at 3-3 with just eight minutes remaining in the third period. Amy Auran would race down the right boards beating the defense and squeaking one through the legs of Carrier.
The comeback would be complete with just 2:34 remaining in the game when Kendal Evenson sent a shot from the left point through traffic beating Carrier to give the Falcons a 4-3.
UW-River Falls goalie Hall finished with finished with 18 saves on 21 shots while King allowed one goal on 10 shots and Carrier allowed three on 13 shots.
UW-River Falls (26-4-1) will finish the season as the third place while Norwich (22-6-3) claimed fourth.