PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - The Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team captured its second-straight and fourth overall national championship on Saturday night after defeating the Elmira Soaring Eagles 3-2.
Plattsburgh State took a penalty 6:32 into the game but it was the Cardinals that struck first on a Giovanna Senese breakaway short-handed goal. The Huntley, Ill., native deked forehandbefore roofing one backhand over Elmira goaltender Kyle Nelson.
|Plattsburgh celebrated it's second straight and fourth overall championship
Photo: Gabe Dickens
Elmira responded quickly in the second period as 2015 Laura Hurd winner Ashley Ryan slipped one through the legs of Leonard to tie the game 1-1 1:51 into the middle frame.
Junior Bridget Balisy put the Cardinals back on the top 2-1 when she collected a loose puck off an Elmira defenseman in front of the net before making a move to beat Nelson five-hole.
The Cardinals added to their lead making it a 3-1 game when Kayla Meneghin received a cross ice pass right at the bottom of the right circle putting it short side over Nelson.
Elmira didn't go down quietly and took back some of the momentum when Olivia Nystrom beat Leonard just 29 seconds after Plattsburgh State scored its third goal.
Elmira pulled Nelson to try to gain the equalizer but the Cardinals defense wouldn't break and steered away every Elmira opportunity.
Leonard made 22 saves on 24 shots while Nelson made 27 on 30 shots.
The 2015 NCAA All-Tournament team featured Norwich's Kaycie Anderson and UW-River Fall's Paige Johnson. From Elmira was Ashley Ryan and representing Plattsburgh State were Balisy, Leonard and tournament MVP Giovanna Senese.
Plattsburgh State finished 26-2-2 and hoisted its second National Championship in the Stafford Ice Arena in as many seasons.
Elmira ended the season 26-3-1 and in second place.
It was the fifth time Plattsburgh State and Elmira met this season with the Cardinals claiming a slight edge 3-2 on the season.
With the win Plattsburgh State becomes the all-time leader in national championships by claiming its fourth title.