PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – No. 1 seed Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey won its third Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) title in the three-year history of the league on Saturday afternoon at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, defeating No. 2 seed Oswego State, 6-1, in the NEWHL Tournament championship game. It marked the Cardinals' eighth 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 No. 1 in the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll.
The Cardinals, who rose to 26-1-0 overall and extended their winning streak to 18 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 9, on www.ncaa.com. Oswego finishes its season at 16-6-4 overall.
After falling behind 1-0 early in the game, Plattsburgh State would score six unanswered goals to complete the 6-1 win over Oswego.
Philomena Teggart scored the Lakers' lone goal of the day on a high slap shot taken from the center of the blue line at 7:52 of the first period. Kate Randazzo and Megan Teachout assisted on the play.
Junior forward Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) tied the game at 1-1 with her 11th goal of the season at 10:23 of the first period. Drew-Mead scored through the five-hole with a shot from just outside the top of the crease. Junior forward and team captain Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) and senior forward Sarah Wolf (Fairport, N.Y./Boston Shamrocks Elite) tallied the assists.
The Cardinals took a lead they would not relinquish at 16:05 of the first period when sophomore forward Sara Krauseneck (Saginaw, Mich./Northern Cyclones) tallied her 19th goal of the season. On a rush, Drew-Mead sent the puck from the right circle towards the goal. The puck bounced off the goaltender and to the front of the net where Krauseneck finished with a shot over the goaltender's right pad to make the score 2-1. Drew-Mead and junior forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans) recorded the assists.
Plattsburgh State would score two more goals in the second period to extend its lead to 4-1.
Sophomore forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) scored her 16th goal of the season, assisted by sophomore defensemen Sierra Benjamin (Palm Coast, Fla./Northwood School) and Hanna Rose (Chaumont, N.Y./Northwood School) on the power-play at 7:06 of the second period. Unsworth beat the goaltender on a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle to make the score 3-1.
Senior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) tallied her first goal of the season at 15:39 of the first period. An initial shot by Kiraly from just outside the crease was stopped, but she knocked in her own rebound for the goal. Freshman forward Ivy Boric (Newport Beach, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) and Drew-Mead recorded the assists on the goal that made the score 4-1.
In the third period, the Cardinals added on two more goals as they pulled away for the 6-1 victory.
Sophomore forward Taylor Whitney (Livonia, Mich./Little Caesars) made the score 5-1 with her 14th goal of the season at 5:01 of the third period. On a rush, Boric passed the puck from near the right face-off dot to Whitney in the slot and Whitney finished with a wrist shot to the blocker side. Boric and Kiraly assisted on the play.
Junior forward and alternate captain Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) capped off the scoring with her team-leading 21st goal of the season at 16:15 of the first period. Katonka beat the goaltender with a wrist shot from the slot. Brush garnered the lone assist on the play.
Sophomore netminder Ashley Davis (Winterville, N.C./Northwood School) improved to 19-0-0 with 20 saves for Plattsburgh State. Rachael Farmer (15-7-4) stopped 49 shots for Oswego.
Plattsburgh State outshot Oswego, 55-21, on the afternoon.
Plattsburgh State, which entered the day third in NCAA Division III women's ice hockey in power-play efficiency, went 1-of-2 on the power play and improved to 28.1 percent on the season. The Cardinals, who held the Lakers to 0-of-4 on the power play, rank first nationally in penalty kill percentage (98.1).
NEWHL All-Tournament Team
#6 Megan Teachout (F) - Oswego
#19 Philomena Teggart (D) - Oswego
#21 Hannah Kiraly (D) - Plattsburgh State
#27 Kaitlin Drew-Mead (F) - Plattsburgh State
#1 Ashley Davis (G) - Plattsburgh State
#25 Sara Krauseneck (F, MVP) - Plattsburgh State