Cardinals top Canton 5-1, tie NCAA III winning streak

Cardinals top Canton 5-1, tie NCAA III winning streak

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — No. 1 Plattsburgh State tied its own NCAA Division III women's ice hockey record for the longest overall winning streak with a 5-1 Northeastern Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) victory over SUNY Canton on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

Plattsburgh State (7-0-0, 6-0-0 NEWHL) won its 25th consecutive game, dating back to a 6-0 home win over Buffalo State on Jan. 12, 2019. The Cardinals are now the only NCAA Division III women's ice hockey team to have won 25 consecutive games and they have done it twice. The Cardinals originally set the record of 25 wins with a streak that spanned from Feb. 7, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016.

The Cardinals used a four-goal first period to build a lead that proved to be insurmountable for SUNY Canton (0-4-1, 0-4-1 NEWHL). 

Freshman forward Ivy Boric (Newport Beach, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) got the scoring started for Plattsburgh State with her third goal of the season 38 seconds into the game, with junior forward Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) and junior defenseman Erin McArdle (Macomb, Mich./Belle Tire) assisting on the play. On the power play, the Cardinals worked the puck around the offensive zone until McArdle passed the puck from the right sideboards into the slot. Katonka attempted a shot, but the puck bounced over to Boric in the low slot, who finished with a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.

Just under four minutes later, junior forward Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) tallied her second goal of the season at 4:36 of the first period to make the score 2-0. Sophomore forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) brought the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot that was saved, but Walker scored on the rebound. Unsworth and freshman defenseman Kendall Wasik (Novi, Mich./HoneyBaked) assisted on the play.

The Cardinals increased their lead to 3-0 on sophomore forward Holly Schmelzer's first goal of the season at 9:47 of the first period. Schmelzer chased down an outlet pass from sophomore defenseman Sierra Benjamin (Palm Coast, Fla./Northwood School), went in on a breakaway, and used a deke to score through the goaltender's five-hole. Benjamin and Wasik tallied assists on the goal.

Katonka finished off the scoring for Plattsburgh State — scoring two power-play goals to make the score 5-0. Her first goal, which was assisted by senior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) and Unsworth, came at 12:43 of the first period. Kiraly passed the puck in front of the net where Katonka one-timed a shot into the lower-left corner of the goal. Katonka's second goal, scored at 9:51 of the second period, was assisted by Unsworth and Boric. On a 5-on-3 power play, Plattsburgh State had a couple of initial shots that were saved, but Katonka was able to poke in a rebound from just outside the top of the crease to put the Cardinal lead at 5-0.   

Canton scored its lone goal of the night at 1:54 of the third period to make the final score 5-1 in favor of Plattsburgh State. A Cardinal turnover by their own blue line led to an opportunity for the Kangaroos. Plattsburgh State's freshman goaltender Lilla Nease (Lake Forest, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) (2-0-0) made a couple of back-to-back saves, including a diving stop, but Alyssa Suzuki was able to finish on a rebound opportunity for the goal. Hannah Desrochers assisted on the play. 

Nease made 24 saves on the day for the Cardinals, while Brooke Susac (0-3-0) stopped 65 shots for the Kangaroos.

Shots on goal were 70-25 in favor of Plattsburgh State.

The Cardinals finished 3-of-13 on the power play, while the Kangaroos were 0-of-5 on the power-play.

Plattsburgh State next faces Bishop's University in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. Canton plays at Oswego State on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m.