March 12, 2012

            Plattsburgh scored three unanswered goals in the third period on its way to a 4-2 win over Middlebury in an NCAA Quarterfinal game in Kenyon Arena. The Cardinals (19-6-3) will take on R.I.T. in a semifinal game next Friday, March 16th, while Gustavus Adolphus meets Norwich in the other semifinal. The Panthers end their season with a record of 21-4-3 and a NESCAC title.

Trailing by a 2-1 margin in the final period, Plattsburgh capitalized when Panther junior Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) was called for a five-minute major. Winning the ensuing faceoff in the zone, sophomore Jenny Kistner corralled the puck from senior Erika Shaubel and carried in at the low circle, firing it across the goal mouth. Junior Teal Grove was there and buried it into the open net at 11:54.

            The Cardinals struck again less than two minutes later as Grove sent it past sprawling Middlebury first-year netminder Annabelle Jones (Homer, N.Y.), once again off a feed from Kistner for a 3-2 lead – their first of the contest. The secondary assist was again credited to Shaubel. 

Plattsburgh sealed the victory with 41 seconds left in the game after the Panthers pulled Jones in favor of the extra attacker. Middlebury controlled the puck in the offensive zone, but a quick interception by senior Kylie Klassen saw the defender skate into the neutral zone for a long shot into an empty net.

            It was a slow start to the game, but the scoring came on quickly with the homestanding Panthers taking the first lead on a five-on-three advantage in the first period. Junior Maggie Woodward (Dover, N.H.) set up the play, stealing the puck off a Cardinals stick and carrying it into the left circle. She found sophomore Sara Ugalde (Burlington, Conn.) cross-ice at the near boards, who played it back before eventually firing it in low past netminder Sydney Aveson at 12:00.

            Still carrying the man-advantage, the Panthers made it a 2-0 lead just 42 seconds later as rookie Hannah Bielawski (Evanston, Ill.) connected off a number of rebounds for her eighth of the season. Sophomore Jennifer Krakower (Montreal, Que.) earned the primary assist after collecting the puck after a shot from junior Madison Styrbicki (Edina, Minn.) was blocked at the high slot. She fired a shot that Aveson saved, but the Cardinals goalie could not control the rebound as Bielawski one-timed it in at 12:42. 

Plattsburgh cut the deficit at 13:56 as junior Jordan Caldwell corralled the puck at the far boards before passing it up the blueline for rookie Alyssa Parke.  In traffic, Parke sent a high shot down the middle, which tipped off a Middlebury defender and in through a screen in front of Jones.

Between the pipes, Aveson earned the win, stopping 22 shots, while her counterpart, Jones made 22 saves of her own in the loss for Middlebury.
• Women’s hockey final record: 21-4-3