PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The top-ranked Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team beat No. 7 University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 4-2, in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on Saturday. The Cardinals improve to 26-1-1 on the season, while the Tommies end their season at 14-11-4. Plattsburgh State advances to its sixth straight and 11th overall Final Four.
The Cardinals will face Norwich University in the NCAA Championship semifinal on March 17 at 3:30 p.m. Gustavus Adolphus College and Adrian College tangle in the other semifinal game. The title tilt is March 18 at 7 p.m.
Plattsburgh State junior Melissa Sheeran (Schaghticoke, N.Y./Millbrook School) scored twice and sophomore Mackenzie Millen (Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) chipped in one goal and one assist. Senior Jordan Lipson (Davis, Calif./Pomfret School) scored, while senior Julia Duquette (North Tonawanda, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons U-19, juniors Megan Crandell (Fullerton, Calif./Saint Norbert) and Kayla Meneghin (Clifton, N.J./The Gunnery) and sophomores Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) and Ashley Songin (Springville, N.Y./Nichols School) each assisted. Senior Camille Leonard (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Jr. Hornets) stopped 29 shots for the win.
Sheeran upped her career goal total to 76 and is tied with Jenn Clarke '06 and Teal Gove '13 for third in program history.
St. Thomas junior Allison Borgstrom and sophomore Leah Schwartzman both had one goal and one assist, with senior Kathryn Larson providing a helper. Sophomore Ellie Tabaka won 11 faceoffs and classmate Mackenzie Torpy collected 34 saves.
Plattsburgh State led, 2-0, despite St. Thomas' 12-9 shot advantage in the opening period. Sheeran potted the game's first goal at 7:35 after flipping the puck over a sprawled Torpy following Meneghin's backhanded feed. Meneghin had picked up the puck in her defensive zone and that sparked her breakaway chance that was contested by a Tommie defender. Sheeran added to the Cardinals' lead at 14:39 after stuffing home a rebound off of Songin's close-in, left side bid. Leonard kept the visitors at bay during a St. Thomas power-play rush by denying all three shots she faced.
The Tommies potted two power-play goals within the first 5:20 of the second period. Borgstrom wheeled down low on the left side before wristing a shot just under the crossbar at 2:03. Schwartzman netted the equalizer 3:17 later after poking home the puck from the top of the crease. The Cardinals then regained the lead at 8:31 after Crandell darted up the left side before dishing off to a crashing Millen, who deflected the puck into the right side.
Plattsburgh State owned an 11-9 shot advantage in the final period. Lipson extended the hosts' lead to 4-2 at 13:56 when she took Millen's right side feed and snapped the puck into the left side. Torpy was pulled for the extra attacker with 2:28 remaining and Tabaka rang a point shot off of the left post 15 seconds later. A late power play for the Tommies was all that remained before time expired.