WILLIAMSTOWN, MA — It's been a record-setting, trend-making season for the Williams College women's hockey team, but checking off a win against No. 2 Plattsburgh State would be a another big step.
The last time the Ephs advanced to the NCAA Tournament Div. III quarterfinals, in 2014, it was the same Plattsburgh program that stood in their way. The Cardinals took that game, played at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, 4-1. Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. back at Stafford, Williams (21-4-3) will face the Cardinals one again looking for a different outcome.
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. Williams, which set a new single-season record for wins with its 3-1 NCAA first round win over defending national champion Norwich, is No. 7 in the USCHO poll and No. 9 in the D3hockey poll.
"We know that there obviously another tremendous team, but this time of year you're just going to continue to play the best," Ephs' head coach Meghan Gillis said. "Similarly to (Norwich) they have a couple of powerful, skilled forwards and we have to ready to turn around quick and head up there."
Tickets for the game are $6 for adults, $4 for students, senior citizens and kids. Children 2 and younger will be admitted free. You can watch the game HERE. You cann follow the game via Live Stats HERE.
Plattsburgh advanced to the quarterfinals when sophomore forward Annie Katonka scored 45 seconds into the first overtime Wednesday night to give the Cardinals a 3-2 First Round win over Endicott College. Plattsburgh has won 15 consecutive game, its only loss of the season coming January 7 to Elmira College by a 4-1 score. Interestingly, one of the watershed victories for Williams this season was its 4-2 victory over Elmira back on December 8, 2018. The Ephs have won eight games in a row and have an unbeaten streak of (13-0-2) coming into Saturday's contest.
The Cardinals lead the country (Div. III) in goal per game with 5.0. Katonka leads the team with 30 goals, 20 assists and 50 points. Senor Courtney Moriarty is second on the team with 17 goals and 38 points. Senior Mackenzie Millen paces Plattsburgh with 23 assists and has 32 points. Four other Cardinals; Taylor Whitney, Kaitlin Drew-Mead, Nicole Unsworth and Abby Brush, have more than 10 goals this season.
Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott is enjoying a standout year in between the pipes for Plattsburgh State, as she ranks among the Division III leaders in goals-against average (first, 0.67), save percentage (first, .961), shutouts (tied for first, 13) and winning percentage (tied for second, .926).
Sophomore Meghan Halloran, the 2019 NESCAC Player of the Year, tops the Ephs in points (36), goals (18) and assists (18). Senior forwards Annie Rush and Abby Brustad are tied for second on the team with 24 points. Rush has 11 goals and 13 assists and Brustad 10 goals and 14 assists. Junior forward Amanda Reisman is next with 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points.
Sophomore defenseman Brynn Puppe, a First Team All-NESCAC selection, has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points this season. First year goaltender Chloe Heiting is 18-2-2 on the season with a .949 save percentage and a 1.29 goals against average. She stopped 32 of 33 shots faced in the first round win over Norwich, whiel Puppe's mid third-period goal broke a 1-1 tie. Avery Dunn scored off a nice feed from Reisman for an insurance goal in that victory.