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MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. – For the seventh time in program history and for the fifth time in six years, the No. 2/2 Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey team can call itself NCAA Division III national champions.
The Cardinals posted just the second shutout in the history of the NCAA Division III Tournament championship game, as they topped No. 4/6 Hamline University, 4-0, at the University of St. Thomas' St. Thomas Academy Ice Arena on Saturday evening. Plattsburgh State's seven national championships are more than any other school in Division III women's ice hockey history.
Plattsburgh State is ranked at No. 2 in both the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and the D3hockey.com Women's Top-10 Poll, while Hamline is ranked at No. 4 in the USCHO.com Women's Division III Top-10 Poll and No. 6 in the D3hockey.com Women's Top-10 Poll.
Senior forward Courtney Moriarty (Estero, Fla./Northfield Mount Hermon) was named the Tournament MVP, while senior goaltender Kassi Abbott (Medford, Mass./Boston Shamrocks Elite), junior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) and sophomore forward Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) joined her on the All-Tournament Team.
Plattsburgh State finished its 2018-19 campaign on an 18-game winning streak and went 29-2-0 overall. It tied the program record for most wins in a season, as the Cardinals also posted 29 victories (29-1-0) in 2015-16.
Sophomore forward Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) put the Cardinals on the board 4:27 into the first period. Senior forward Mackenzie Millen(Anchorage, Alaska/North American Hockey Academy) won an offensive-zone face-off back to sophomore defenseman Emma Killeen (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) on the left point, and Killeen passed D-to-D to Kiraly, who sent the puck right back to Killeen on the left point. Killeen wristed a shot that was deflected into the goal by Drew-Mead, who was stationed in the slot.
Moriarty extended the advantage at 8:46 of the second, taking the puck away from a Piper skater in the Hamline zone before wristing a shot past the goalie high glove side.
Abbott was forced to make several acrobatic saves throughout the course of the game, but perhaps none was bigger than a right pad save that she made on a Piper breakaway with 15:35 elapsed in the second.
Freshman forward Sara Krauseneck (Saginaw, Mich./Northern Cyclones) scored her second collegiate goal at an opportune time, tallying at 4:54 of the third period to open up a 3-0 Cardinal lead. Junior forward Sarah Wolf (Fairport, N.Y./Boston Shamrocks Elite) led the rush down the right wing and centered a pass to Millen in the neutral zone. Millen evaded two defenders and curled around the left circle before backhanding a pass to Krauseneck in the slot. Krauseneck then one-timed the pass past the goaltender blocker side.
Sophomore forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans) put the game on ice with 3:20 left in regulation. Katonka took a loose puck behind the goal line and played it out in front to set up Brush, who scored low stick side.
Katonka finished the season with 54 points on 31 goals and 23 assists, tying for third in single-season goals and ranking fourth in single-season points. Moriarty finished her career as the program's all-time leader in games played at 121.
Abbott made 29 saves in the shutout win for the Cardinals, while her counterpart, freshman goaltender Jaela O'Brien, turned aside 24 shots in the loss for the Pipers. Abbott finished her career as the program record holder in goals-against average (0.95) and save percentage (.950), and she is tied for second in shutouts (14).
National Champs Again!: Plattsburgh blanks Hamline for 7th title
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