BY RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Following a combined four-goal performance in its first two games, Plattsburgh State women’s hockey coach Kevin Houle was searching for more offensive output.
It’s safe to say a 5-0 victory over Chatham University and 71 shots on goal did just the trick.
The No. 2 nationally-ranked Cardinals (2-0-1, 1-0) opened their ECAC West regular season schedule with a decisive win and two points at the Plattsburgh State Field House Saturday.
“Fortunately, we were able to get two goals in the first period and build off of that,” Houle said. “It would have been nice to score a little earlier (in the game), but we controlled play and had a lot of opportunities.”
Kenzie Menzak opened the game’s scoring at 12:22 of the opening stanza when the Cardinals began cycling the puck behind the Cougars’ (0-1, 0-1) net. After a Caitlin Gilligan shot from the point, Menzak chipped in the rebound chance in front.
Then, Shannon Stewart extended the differential to two goals by capitalizing on a turnover in the slot and ripping a wrist shot past Chatham goaltender Megan Buchanan.
Plattsburgh State was able to pepper Buchanan with 28 shots in the first period, but had a difficult time burying the puck.
“Sometimes, we just have to take that extra second and get the puck upstairs, find the open corner, or find the open stick,” Houle said. “I’d like to see more traffic in front of the net, but at times we had two forwards in the corner and nobody in front.
“Once you get a couple scores, you feel pretty good and the frustration goes away. I get more irritated when we’re not moving the puck well and we went into a couple of lulls in the second and third period. Overall, it was a good effort.”
Jenny Kistner continued her successful junior campaign with a one-time shot parallel to the far post on a power play blast at 6:44 of the middle stanza.
Teal Gove notched a pair of goals at 16:05 of the second and 8:54 into the third, respectively. The performance for Gove was good enough for the first star of the game.
Buchanan concluded the afternoon with 66 saves on 71 shots, while Ally Ross earned the win between the pipes for Plattsburgh State.
The Cardinals wrap up the two-game series today at 1 p.m.
“I thought we came out with great intensity (Saturday) and I’m hoping we can do that again (today),” Houle said. “Hopefully we can limit mistakes in our own end and continue great neutral zone play.”
Plattsburgh State 5,
Chatham University 0
Chatham 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 2 2 1 — 5
First period- 1, PSU, Menzak (Gilligan), 12:22. 2, PSU, Stewart, 18:18.
Second period- 3, PSU, Kistner (Gove, Era), 6:44. 4, PSU, Gove (Stewart, MacInnis), 16:05. Penalties: Abrego, C (tripping), 4:40. Zupan, C (cross-checking), 6:12. MacInnis, PSU (hooking), 9:52. Abrego, C (elbowing), 10:20. Maier, C (high-sticking), 16:41.
Third period- 5, PSU, Gove (Stewart, Balisy), 8:54. Penalties: Abrego, C (hooking), 0:16. Perrine, C (checking), 11:06. Hawkins, C (roughing), 15:04. McIver, PSU (elbowing), 17:31. Hawkins, C, (tripping), 19:21.
Shots on goal:
Chatham 3 2 2 — 7
Plattsburgh 28 21 22 — 71
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Buchanan, C, 71-66. Ross, PSU, 7-7.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Chatham 0-2; Plattsburgh 1-8.