NEWHL Championship: Plattsburgh Cardinals Preview

NEWHL Championship: Plattsburgh Cardinals Preview

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The top-seeded Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team resumes its quest to win its second Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) title Saturday afternoon at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, as the Cardinals host third-seeded SUNY Cortland in the NEWHL Tournament championship game at 3 p.m.
TICKET PRICING: Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-12 and free for children ages 4 and under and for current students from NEWHL schools with valid college-issued identification… There are no refunds or exchanges for NEWHL postseason tickets... All seating is general admission.
ABOUT THE SERIES: In a series that dates back to 2001-02, the Cardinals are 42-0-0 all-time against the Red Dragons… Plattsburgh State swept Cortland in their regular-season series, downing the Red Dragons by scores of 5-0 and 7-0 at home from Nov. 2-3 before prevailing 11-1 and 6-1 at Cortland from Jan. 18-19.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS: Plattsburgh State is seeking its second NEWHL title in as many years and its seventh straight conference championship overall... The Cardinals won each of the final five Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West championships… Plattsburgh State has also won six NCAA Division III national championships, including four of the past five, and has advanced to the national semifinals for seven straight seasons… The Cardinals enter Saturday's contest on a 13-game winning streak... Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in both the Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and the Women's Top-10 Poll… Several student-athletes contribute to a potent Cardinal offense that leads Division III in scoring offense (5.08 goals per game)... Sophomore forward Annie Katonka leads Division III in power-play goals (11) and also ranks among the national leaders in goals per game (tied for first, 1.04) and points per game (third, 1.73)... Her 11 power-play goals are the third-most in a single season in program history, just one back of the program record shared by senior forward Courtney Moriarty (2017-18) and Laurie Bowler (2007-08).

Overall, Katonka has 45 points on 27 goals and 18 assists, leading the NEWHL in both points and goals... Moriarty ranks 16th in Division III in points per game (1.31), as she has tallied 34 points on 15 goals and 19 assists... She enters the weekend with 141 career points, which ranks her seventh in program history... Sophomore defenseman Erin McArdle is tied for seventh in Division III in points per game among defensemen (0.81), while junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly ranks 17th in the same statistical category (0.73)... Freshman forward Taylor Whitney ranks 12th in the nation in points per game among freshmen (0.96), while senior forward Mackenzie Millen leads the NEWHL in assists with 22.

Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott is enjoying a standout year in between the pipes for Plattsburgh State, as she ranks among the Division III leaders in winning percentage (tied for first, .923), shutouts (tied for first, 12), goals-against average (second, 0.70) and save percentage (second, .959)... In addition to scoring offense, the Cardinals also lead Division III in scoring defense (0.69 goals allowed per game), scoring margin (4.38 goals per game), penalty kill efficiency (.971) and combined special teams (.614).

The Cardinals have racked up the NEWHL postseason awards, with Moriarty being named NEWHL Player of the Year, Abbott being named NEWHL Co-Goalie of the Year and freshman defenseman Hanna Rose being named NEWHL Rookie of the Year... Moriarty, Millen, Katonka, Kiraly and Abbott were named to the All-NEWHL First Team, while McArdle was selected to the All-NEWHL Second Team... Rose, freshman defenseman Sierra Benjamin and Whitney all earned NEWHL All-Rookie Team honors... Head coach Kevin Houle has amassed a 392-50-25 record in his 16 years behind the Cardinal bench.

ABOUT THE RED DRAGONS: Cortland enters Saturday's contest on a six-game winning streak and has gone 13-3-1 in its past 17 games... The Red Dragons have set a school record for victories in a season since the program restarted in 2000-01... Cortland advanced to the championship game by virtue of a 3-2 win over second-seeded SUNY Potsdam on Feb. 23 in the semifinal round... Sophomore goaltender Chelsea Allain made 32 saves in the win, which was her single-season program record 10th of the season... Allain also set the single-season record for shutouts in 2018-19 with five... She owns an overall 10-2-1 record with a 1.46 goals-against average, 385 saves and a .951 save percentage... Sophomore forward Grace Schnorr leads the Red Dragons with 24 points on a school-record 15 goals and nine assists... Schnorr, in her first season of collegiate ice hockey, was a Second-Team All-NEWHL selection and was named to the NEWHL All-Rookie Team... Her 24 points are the third best in program history since 2000-01... Freshman forward Amanda Gaffney also earned a spot on the NEWHL All-Rookie Team after scoring 16 points on six goals and 10 assists... Junior defenseman Emily Rose and senior defenseman Samantha Pippin lead the defense, scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively... Head coach Rick Filighera is in his third season behind the Red Dragon bench and owns a 22-44-6 record during his tenure at Cortland... During his 12-year head coaching career, which includes service at the University of Maine and the Rochester Institute of Technology, he is 136-156-26.

WHAT'S NEXT: The winner of this game will earn the NEWHL's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.