PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) scored a natural hat trick in the first period, as the No. 2/3 Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team edged Amherst College, 5-3, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena Saturday afternoon in non-conference action. The victory stretched the Cardinals' win streak to seven.
Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in the D3hockey.com Women's Top-10 Poll and No. 3 in the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll.
Drew-Mead's hat trick was the first of her collegiate career, as she found the back of the net at 4:47, 5:02 and 17:26 of the first period. Senior forward Mackenzie Millen(Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) finished with two assists, while sophomore forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans) netted the game-winner.
The Cardinals outshot the Mammoths by a 40-23 margin, while neither team was assessed a penalty the entirety of the game.
Plattsburgh State rises to 18-2-0 overall with the win and next visits SUNY Potsdam on Friday, Feb. 8, for a 7 p.m. Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) contest. Amherst drops to 9-9-2 overall with the loss and next visits Hamilton College on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m.
Drew-Mead put the Cardinals on the board at 4:47 of the first period, redirecting a hard centering pass by Millen into the back of the net. Millen connected with Drew-Mead again 15 seconds later. She centered a pass to Drew-Mead in the high slot, and Drew-Mead wristed a shot past the goalie blocker side from inside the right face-off circle.
The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native completed the natural hat trick with 17:26 elapsed in the first period. Freshman defenseman Sierra Benjamin (Palm Coast, Fla./Northwood School) intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and sent a drop pass back to Drew-Mead in the high slot. Drew-Mead took a shot that ricocheted off the goalie's glove and past the goal line to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead that they wound up taking into the first intermission.
Amherst got on the board with 1:40 gone in the second period. Senior forward Sarah Wagner passed back to freshman defenseman Elizabeth Holubiak on the left point, and Holubiak passed D-to-D to freshman defenseman Stephanie Nomicos. Nomicos then took a shot from the right point that navigated through traffic and into the back of the net.
Brush extended the lead with the eventual game-winner at 14:45 of the second period. Senior defenseman Maci Hoskins (Oklahoma City, Okla./Northwood School) went D-to-D to freshman defenseman Hanna Rose (Chaumont, N.Y./Northwood School), and Rose blasted a shot from the left point that was saved. Brush then poked in the rebound on the doorstep to hand the Cardinals a 4-1 advantage.
The Mammoths made things interesting midway through the third, scoring two goals in a shot span to cut the deficit to one. Senior forward Jamie McNamera scored on a breakaway at 8:08 of the third thanks to a blocked shot by senior forward Katie Savage that sprung her ahead, while senior forward Katelyn Pantera forced a turnover in the Cardinals' end and scored at 9:51 of the third.
Freshman forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) added an insurance goal at the 16:45 mark of the third. Junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) passed to sophomore forward Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) from the right point, and Walker pinged the feed toward the slot, which saw the puck redirect off the skate of senior forward Ashley Songin (Springville, N.Y./Nichols School) toward Unsworth in the low slot along the right post. Unsworth scored on the backhand low stick side to add breathing room to Plattsburgh State's cause.
Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite) made 20 saves in the win for the Cardinals, while freshman goaltender Caitlin Walker turned aside 35 shots in the loss for the Mammoths.