PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The No. 2/2 Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team defeated Morrisville State College, 7-1, in the first-ever meeting between the two programs on Wednesday evening at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena in non-conference action. Morrisville will join Plattsburgh State in the Northeast Women’s Hockey League (NEWHL) beginning in 2019-20.
Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in both the USCHO.com Women’s Division III Top-10 Poll and the D3hockey.com Women’s Top-10 Poll.
The Cardinals relied on a 63-16 edge in shots on goal to come away with the victory and went 1-for-2 on the power play. The Mustangs, meanwhile, were unable to capitalize on the lone power-play opportunity they acquired, which came midway through the first period.
Senior forward Mackenzie Millen (Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) and sophomore forward Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Pens Elite) each scored twice for the Cardinals, while freshman defenseman Hanna Rose (Chaumont, N.Y./Northwood School) and freshman forward Taylor Whitney (Livonia, Mich./Little Caesars) each posted a goal and an assist. Freshman defenseman Sierra Benjamin (Palm Coast, Fla./Northwood School) also tallied two points, chipping in with two assists.
Plattsburgh State rises to 9-1-0 overall with the win and closes out the calendar year on Friday, Dec. 7, in a 7:30 p.m. non-conference game at Trinity (Conn.) College. Morrisville drops to 8-5-1 overall with the loss and next hosts Wilkes University on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m.
The Cardinals fired the opening salvo 2:10 into the first period. Freshman forward Natalia Asimakis (Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich./Little Caesars) pushed the puck toward Millen at the top of the left face-off circle, and Millen skated around a Mustang defender in the high slot before going top shelf with a wrist shot.
Katonka scored her first goal of the game with 3:56 gone in the first. Sophomore forward Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) fed sophomore defenseman Emma Killeen (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) inside the left circle from behind the goal line, and Killeen fired a shot that was saved. Katonka was waiting just outside the crease and banged in the rebound to hand the Cardinals a 2-0 advantage.
Plattsburgh State added its third goal with 15:33 elapsed in the first period. After freshman forward Holly Schmelzer (East Amherst, N.Y./Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles) took a shot that was saved, freshman forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) helped jostle the puck free from traffic at the bottom of the left circle. Freshman forward Sara Krauseneck (Saginaw, Mich./Northern Cyclones) passed up to Rose on the left point, and Rose ripped a slap shot that deflected off the Mustang goalie’s glove and into the back of the net.
Whitney scored on the power play just 1:12 into the second period. Rose wheeled the puck down to Benjamin in the left circle, and Benjamin fired a shot that was saved before Whitney poked in the rebound.
With 5:46 gone in the second, Katonka netted her second goal of the contest, as sophomore forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans) wrapped a centering pass around the net to Katonka, and Katonka tapped the puck in along the left post.
Morrisville erased the shutout bid just 46 seconds after Katonka’s goal. Junior forward Maddison Devlin forced a turnover in the Cardinals’ zone and passed back to junior forward Kylie Cameron in the slot. Devlin then scored blocker side to cut the deficit to 5-1.
Freshman forward Moe Tsukimoto (Sapporo, Japan/Northwood School) added her name to the scoresheet with 13:53 elapsed in the second. Senior forward Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) won a battle for the puck along the end boards, while Whitney played the puck out in front to Tsukimoto in the low slot. Tsukimoto then scored low stick side to net her fifth goal of the season.
At 15:20 of the second period, Millen buried her second goal of the game to close out scoring. Benjamin dumped the puck down into the left corner of the Mustangs’ zone, and Millen beat out a Morrisville defender for possession. She skated around three Mustangs before depositing the puck through the five hole.
Neither team scored nor sustained a penalty in a mostly-uneventful third period, which saw freshman goaltender Ashley Davis (Winterville, N.C./Northwood School) stop five shots in her regular-season home debut.
Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite) turned aside 10 shots in the winning effort for the Cardinals, while sophomore goaltender Karoline Årvik made 56 saves in the loss for the Mustangs.