College Hockey Stats Box Score
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Freshman forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) and senior forward Mackenzie Millen (Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) scored eight seconds apart in the third period, helping the No. 2/2 Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team push past No. 6/9 Williams College, 5-3, in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.
Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in both the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and the D3hockey.com Women's Top-10 Poll, while Williams is ranked at No. 6 in the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and No. 9 in the D3hockey.com Women's Top-10 Poll.
In a back-and-forth battle in front of 800 fans, Unsworth buried what wound up being the game-winner on the power play 12:41 into the third period. After Williams cleared the zone, junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) helped the Cardinals reset with a cross-ice pass to senior forward Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) from the defensive zone. Moriarty skated down the left wing and sent a short pass back to sophomore defenseman Erin McArdle (Macomb, Mich./Belle Tire). McArdle passed D-to-D to Kiraly, and Kiraly took a shot from the right point that was saved. Unsworth collected the rebound and uncorked a shot while diving, scoring low glove side to give Plattsburgh State a 4-3 lead.
Just eight seconds later, Millen added a big insurance goal. Millen won the center-ice face-off back to freshman defenseman Hanna Rose (Chaumont, N.Y./Northwood School), and Rose passed down the left wing off the boards to freshman forward Taylor Whitney (Livonia, Mich./Little Caesars). Whitney centered a feed to Millen, and Millen split the defense before scoring through the five-hole.
Williams pulled its goalie with 2:24 left in regulation in favor of the extra attacker, but the Ephs were unable to climb back any closer, as the Cardinals advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the eighth straight season.
Plattsburgh State rises to 27-2-0 overall with the win and extends its winning streak to 16 games. The Cardinals face a stiff test against a familiar opponent in the semifinal round, as they take on No. 4/5 Adrian College on Friday, March 15, at 4 p.m. (ET)/3 p.m. (CT) at the University of St. Thomas' rink in Mendota Heights, Minn. It marks the rubber match this year between the two teams, as Plattsburgh State prevailed, 2-0, over Adrian on Jan. 6 after falling to the Bulldogs, 1-0, on Nov. 24. Williams ends its season at 21-5-3 overall.
Williams sent a message 19 seconds into the game with a goal that stunned a Cardinal team that battled all the way back from a 2-0 deficit to Endicott College in the quarterfinal round. Junior defenseman Mia Carroll banked a pass off the boards ahead to senior forward Abby Brustad, and Brustad backhanded a short pass forward to sophomore forward Meghan Halloran in the slot. Halloran took a shot that was initially turned away with a pad save before following through and poking in the rebound. That score stood through one period of play despite Plattsburgh State owning a 13-6 edge in shots on goal.
Sophomore forward Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) tied the game at 3:08 of the second period with her sixth goal of the season. Unsworth took a shot that went wide of the net, and senior forward Ashley Songin (Springville, N.Y./Nichols School) collected the puck along the back wall. Songin centered a feed into traffic in the slot, and Walker took advantage of the chaos, backhanding a shot past the goal line.
Just 1:20 later, freshman forward Holly Schmelzer (East Amherst, N.Y./Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles) entered her name into the score sheet to give Plattsburgh State a 2-1 advantage. Kiraly sent a stretch pass ahead to sophomore forward Abby Brush(Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans), and Brush found Moriarty in the offensive zone despite Moriarty having four Eph defenders in her vicinity. Moriarty centered a pass to Schmelzer while falling to her knees, and Schmelzer scored glove side.
Williams battled back to even on the power play at 16:01 of the second, as Halloran scored on a one-timer inside the right circle on a pass from senior forward Annie Rush. Carroll was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
Fifty-nine seconds later, Millen handed the Cardinals a 3-2 cushion, scoring unassisted. She won an offensive-zone face-off, skated along the goal line to the right of the goal and slipped the puck past the Eph goaltender low stick side.
Brustad scored for Williams midway through the third to give the game its third tie score of the afternoon. Halloran entered the zone and skated toward the bottom of the left circle before passing back to Brustad. Brustad one-timed a shot high glove side to level the tally at 3-3. Freshman forward Brianna Hill earned the secondary assist on the goal.
Millen and Unsworth each finished with two points to lead the Cardinals, with Millen scoring twice and Unsworth posting a goal and an assist. Williams was led by Halloran, who had three points on two goals and an assist, and Brustad, who finished with two points on a goal and an assist.
Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite) made 22 saves in the win for the Cardinals, while freshman goaltender Chloe Heiting turned aside 31 shots in the loss for the Ephs.
No. 2/2 Plattsburgh prevails in 5-3 thriller vs. No. 6/9 Williams
College Hockey Stats Box Score