NCAA III Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Williams at Plattsburgh

NCAA III Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Williams at Plattsburgh
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team continues its quest to win its seventh overall NCAA Division III national title on Saturday, March 9, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, as the Cardinals host Williams College at 3 p.m. in the NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinals.
TICKET PRICING: Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students with valid identification, $3 for children between the ages of 3-12 and free for children 2 years old and under... The Field House box office will open at 1:30 p.m. the day of the game... There are no refunds or exchanges for NCAA postseason tickets... All seating is general admission.
ABOUT THE SERIES: Plattsburgh State leads the all-time series against Williams, 10-0-0, dating back to the teams' first meeting in 2002-03... The Cardinals prevailed, 4-1, over the Ephs when the two teams last met in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on March 15, 2014.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS: Plattsburgh State has won six NCAA Division III national titles in its history, which included a stretch of four straight from 2014-17, and has advanced to the national semifinals for seven straight seasons... The Cardinals qualified for the NCAA Tournament by virtue of the automatic bid out of the Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL)... The Cardinals enter Saturday's contest on a 15-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… The Cardinals were given all they could handle in the NCAA Tournament first round on Wednesday, needing to overcome a 2-0 deficit to defeat Endicott College, 3-2, in overtime... Sophomore forward Annie Katonka scored the game-winner 45 seconds into the first overtime period... Several student-athletes contribute to a potent Cardinal offense that is tied for the Division III lead in scoring offense (5.00 goals per game)... Katonka leads Division III in power-play goals (11) and also ranks among the national leaders in goals per game (tied for first, 1.07) and points per game (second, 1.79)... 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 50 points on 30 goals and 20 assists, leading the NEWHL in both points and goals... Moriarty ranks 13th in Division III in points per game (1.36), as she has tallied 38 points on 17 goals and 21 assists... She enters the weekend with 145 career points, which ranks sixth in program history... Sophomore defenseman Erin McArdle is fifth in Division III in points per game among defensemen (0.86), while junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly ranks 16th in the same statistical category (0.71)... Freshman forward Taylor Whitney ranks 11th in the nation in points per game among freshmen (0.92), while senior forward Mackenzie Millen leads the NEWHL in assists with 23... 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 goals-against average (first, 0.72), save percentage (first, .958), shutouts (tied for first, 13) and winning percentage (tied for first, .929)... In addition to scoring offense, the Cardinals also lead Division III in scoring defense (0.71 goals allowed per game), scoring margin (4.29 goals per game), penalty kill efficiency (.972) and combined special teams (.604)... The Cardinals 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... Moriarty was named the Tournament MVP as a result of her performances in the NEWHL Tournament, while Katonka and McArdle joined her on the All-Tournament Team... Head coach Kevin Houle has amassed a 394-50-25 record in his 16 years behind the Cardinal bench.

ABOUT THE EPHS: Williams earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament win on Wednesday, knocking off defending national champion Norwich University, 3-1, in Williamstown, Mass., in first-round action... The Ephs qualified for the NCAA Tournament by virtue of earning the automatic bid out of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)... Williams is ranked at No. 6 in both the Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and No. 9 in the Women's Top-10 Poll... The Ephs enter Saturday's contest on a 15-game unbeaten streak that includes a 13-0-2 record... Williams is currently in the midst of its most successful season in program history, and arguably its best win this year came on Dec. 8 when it downed Elmira College, 4-2... Sophomore forward Meghan Halloran, the 2019 NESCAC Player of the Year, tops the Ephs in points (36), goals (18) and assists (18)... Senior forwards Annie Rush and Abby Brustad are tied for second on the team with 24 points... Rush has 11 goals and 13 assists and Brustad 10 goals and 14 assists... Junior forward Amanda Reisman is next with seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points... Sophomore defenseman Brynn Puppe, a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points this season... Freshman goaltender Chloe Heiting is 18-2-2 on the season with a .949 save percentage and a 1.29 goals against average... Eighth-year head coach Meghan Gillis owns a 97-89-20 overall record for her career... Williams' assistant coach, Jordan Lipson, competed for Plattsburgh State from 2013-17 and was part of a senior class that won four national championships.

WHAT'S NEXT: The winner of this game will face either Elmira College or Adrian College in the semifinal round on Friday, March 15, at the site of the highest-remaining seed in the tournament.