MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — No. 1 Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey was edged by No. 8 Middlebury College, 2-1, in the championship game of the Panther/Cardinal Classic on Sunday at the Chip Kenyon Arena in Middlebury, Vt.
The loss marked the end of Plattsburgh State's (8-1-0) NCAA Division III record 26-game winning streak. The streak began with a 6-0 win over Buffalo State on Jan. 12, 2019 and included the Cardinals winning their fifth national title in six seasons (seventh overall). Plattsburgh State set the previous record when it won 25 consecutive games from Feb. 7, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016.
Plattsburgh State outshot Middlebury (4-0-2) 10-4 in the first period, but Middlebury scored the only goal of the first 20:00 of play to take a 1-0 lead over Plattsburgh State into the first intermission.
After successfully killing off a penalty and returning to even strength at the 6:31 mark, Plattsburgh State was the aggressor for much of the period. However, Middlebury took advantage of a scoring chance and took a 1-0 lead at the 9:47 mark. After a battle along the right sideboards in the Plattsburgh State zone, Madie Leidt got the puck and wired a wrist shot from between the right face-off dot and the bottom of the circle that beat Plattsburgh State's freshman netminder Chloe Beaubien (Colorado Springs, Colo./Ontario Hockey Academy) (1-1-0) inside the near post. Maddie Bayard and Jenna Letterie were credited with the assists.
In the second period, Plattsburgh State outshot Middlebury 8-4, but Middlebury tallied the lone goal of the period to put Plattsburgh State down 2-0 going into the second intermission. The Panthers' Sidney Portner forced a turnover just inside Middlebury's defensive blue line that led to an odd-man rush for Middlebury. Portner took an initial shot from the left circle that was saved, but Katie Hargrave banged home the rebound for the goal. The Cardinals started to gain offensive momentum toward the end of the period, but were unable to score.
Plattsburgh State fought back in the third period and scored at the 17:23 mark to make the score 2-1. Junior forward and alternate captain Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) skated the puck out from behind the net, took a shot that was saved and then chipped the puck across the front of the net to junior forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans). Brush batted the puck out of the air and into the net for her second goal of the season. Katonka and sophomore forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) assisted on the play. The Cardinals pulled their goaltender with 1:15 remaining in regulation, but were unable to find the tying goal as the Panthers held on for the victory.
Beaubien, who started in net for Plattsburgh State, made five saves and allowed two goals in 24:31 of play. Freshman Lilla Nease (Lake Forest Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks), who relieved Beaubien, made 11 saves in 34:14. Anna Goldstein (3-0-0) made 29 saves in net for Middlebury.
Shots on goal were 30-18 in favor of Plattsburgh State.
The Cardinals finished 0-of-2 on the power play and the Panthers went 0-of-4.
For their performances in the Panther/Cardinal Classic, Unsworth and junior defenseman Erin McArdle (Macomb, Mich./Belle Tire) were named to the all-tournament team.
Plattsburgh State next hosts SUNY Potsdam at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. Thanks to UFirst Federal Credit Union, admission to all Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey games will be free for the entirety of the 2019-20 season. UFirst Federal Credit Union is the official game day sponsor for Cardinal women's ice hockey in 2019-20.
Middlebury next hosts Utica at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Chip Kenyon Arena.