Plattsburgh captures second straight title, berth in NCAA Championships

Plattsburgh captures second straight title, berth in NCAA Championships

College Hockey Stats Box Score

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked No. 2/2 and top-seeded Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team won its second Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) title in the two-year history of the league on Saturday afternoon at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, blanking third-seeded SUNY Cortland, 5-0, in the NEWHL Tournament championship game. It marked the Cardinals' seventh consecutive conference title overall counting the five Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West championships they won in the final years of that conference.
Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in both the Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and the Women's Top-10 Poll.
The Cardinals, who rise to 25-2-0 overall and extend their winning streak to 14 games with the win, earned the NEWHL's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament by virtue of capturing the conference title. The entire 10-team field will be announced live on a selection show that will be aired at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 4, on Cortland finishes its season at 15-9-3 overall.
Senior forward Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) was named the Tournament MVP, while sophomore forward Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) and sophomore defenseman Erin McArdle (Macomb, Mich./Belle Tire) joined her on the All-Tournament Team. The remainder of the All-Tournament Team included junior forward Emily King and sophomore goaltender Chelsea Allain of Cortland and senior defenseman Rylie Murray of SUNY Potsdam.
Moriarty and Katonka each finished with three points on a goal and two assists. With her performance, Moriarty took over sole possession of fifth in the program's career record book in goals (77) while moving into a tie for sixth with Shannon Stewart (2011-15) in career points (144).
Plattsburgh State opened scoring at 4:17 of the first with a power-play goal. Katonka played the puck out in front from behind the goal line that ended up deflecting off the skate of McArdle and into the back of the net. Moriarty earned the secondary assist on the play.
Freshman defenseman Hanna Rose (Chaumont, N.Y./Northwood School) made it a 2-0 game with 13 seconds left in the first period. Sophomore forward Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) passed to freshman forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) along the end boards, and Unsworth sent a pass up to Rose on the left point. Rose ended up scoring on a shot from the point that deflected off a Cortland skater in the slot.
Moriarty extended the lead at 6:34 of the second with a highlight-reel goal. Sophomore forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans) sent a short, backhanded pass to Katonka in the left corner, and Katonka centered a pass to Moriarty from the left circle. Moriarty one-timed the feed past the goaltender high glove side from just outside of the right post to stake the Cardinals to a 3-0 advantage.

With 9:54 gone in the second period, Katonka entered the goal column. Sophomore defenseman Emma Killeen (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) forced a turnover in the defensive zone and sent a short pass up to Moriarty along the left boards. Moriarty then sprung Katonka forward on a breakaway, and Katonka scored through the five-hole.

Freshman forward Taylor Whitney (Livonia, Mich./Little Caesars) scored what wound up being the final goal of the contest with exactly one minute remaining in the second. McArdle sent a stretch pass ahead to senior forward Mackenzie Millen (Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy), and with a defender marking her closely, she backhanded a centering pass to Whitney from inside the left circle. Whitney deposited a shot past the goalie high glove side to net her 11th goal of the season.

Neither team was able to score in the third, as Allain made 19 saves in the period to keep the Cardinals from extending their lead any further.

Plattsburgh State finished with a 63-22 edge in shots on goal and went 1-for-3 on the power play. Cortland was unable to capitalize on its lone chance with the extra skater.

Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite) posted her 13th shutout of the season with a 22-save effort and now holds sole possession of the Division III lead in goals-against average (0.67) and save percentage (.961) while holding a share of the national lead in winning percentage (.926) and shutouts (13).