MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Plattsburgh State (19-6-3) advanced to the national semifinals after defeating Middlebury 4-2 (21-4-3) Saturday at Kenyon Ice Arena.
A slow starting game came to life when Morgan MacInnis was called for a penalty at the 10:09 mark. The Cardinals kept the Panthers at bay for the first minute, but then Erika Shaubel was whistled for a penalty to give the Panthers a 5-on-3 opportunity. After exchanging passes in front of the Plattsburgh goal with Maggie Woodward, Sara Ugalde shot high into the net from close to the faceoff circle with 12:00 left to play in the first period.
The Panther wouldn’t have to wait long for a second goal as it came just 42 seconds later. A Panther shot was blocked and then Aveson made the save on another shot, but Hannah Bielawski one timed the rebound to give the Panthers a two goal advantage.
The Cardinals were not fazed by the deficit and came right back at the Panthers one minute later. Jordan Caldwell controlled the puck on the boards before sending it back to the blue line to a waiting Alyssa Parke. Parke took a slapshot that flew through traffic and high into the Panther net.
The second period did not see any goals, but there were plenty of chances for both teams. Aveson made two huge saves to keep it a one goal game. She blocked a shot from the center and then pushed the rebound wide with Panther players waiting out in front. Middlebury then rattled Aveson’s post with a shot from the blue line and the Cardinals were weathering the storm.
The Cardinals came down to the other end and had opportunities of their own and missed an open net opportunity after the Panther goalie had been beaten by a pass.
The third period was an explosive one as both teams began to trade blows. Gemma Rutherford was stopped right in front of the net by Panther goalie Annabelle Jones and then the Panthers came down and forced two point blank saves from Aveson.
The Cardinals embarked on a power-play that would see them go in front. Teal Gove netted two almost identical goals in the space of nearly two minutes. Shaubel passed the puck down low to Jenny Kistner, she then played the puck across the face of the goal where Gove was on hand to knock it into the empty net. The same scenario played out with 6:17 left, except Gove needed two swings to put the puck in on this occasion to give the Cardinals a 3-2 advantage.
As the Panthers pushed for the tying goal, they pulled their goalie. With the puck down in the Cardinal zone, Kylie Klassen scooped it out towards the Middlebury end and into the net to finish the scoring and effectively the game.