Nov. 16—PLATTSBURGH — It's a game that isn't hard to get up for and both teams have it circled on the calendar.
When Norwich and Plattsburgh State meet on the ice, it's almost a guarantee that the rivals will provide a good show. Tuesday's 2-2 tie lived up to the hype and set the stage for what's to come down the road.
"We've always had good, good games against them," Cardinals head coach Kevin Houle said. "We've been pretty successful against them over the years and it's certainly a good battle tonight.
"We definitely had our chances. We just didn't convert. We didn't do a great job on the powerplay that was a story. You know, we didn't finish. Five on five, played really well. They had their opportunities and I thought our chances were there."
The power play was a struggle for Plattsburgh as they went 0-5 when they held the advantage. They outshot Norwich, 12-3 during those moments.
"You gotta be hungry and you gotta want to finish and you got to make the right decisions at the right time," Houle said. "And we didn't do that. I think we were hungry.
"We gotta find a way to finish and put the puck in the net. So, you know, we need to get better on the powerplay. That's the priority."
The Cards had multiple opportunities to expand or retake the lead throughout the game. They outshot the Cadets, 43-18.
After a scoreless first period that saw Plattsburgh have a 9-4 advantage, both offenses found a groove in the second.
Just a minute into the second period, Norwich's Taylor Giroud sent the puck past Lilla Nease to give her team the lead.
But, it didn't take long for the Cardinals to make it level. The offense came alive after the Chief's first goal, outshooting them 16-5 in the period.
In the seventh minute, Plattsburgh's Julia Masotta skated around the entire Norwich defense before going just behind the goalie line. As soon as she crossed the line, she zipped the puck to Bridget Orr, who shot a one-timer past the goaltender's glove side.
Orr would again be the recipient of a Masotta play near the end of the period. After receiving the puck, Masotta skated towards the net and fired a low shot. The puck bounced off the net minder's pads, and Orr was there to pick up the rebound and send it into the net.
Tuesday marked the second consecutive night Orr has scored multiple goals.
"All the credit goes to (Masotta)," Orr said. "She set me up tonight and I was just in the right place."
The score remained 2-1, until the third minute of the third period. Norwich applied offensive pressure and was able to get one by Nease to tie the score.
Nease had a solid game between the pipes for Plattsburgh, stopping 16 in 65 minutes of game time.
Through four games, the Cardinals have allowed only three goals, outshooting every opponent they've faced.
The two goals allowed against Norwich were mistakes that Houle said have to be minimized.
"We had a couple of breakdowns that led to goals," he said. "We let them get behind us on a 2 on 1 for the first goal, and we didn't pick up on a second goal.
"So those are mistakes that you have to minimize, and I think we did. I think (Norwich) was opportunistic with their opportunities. But we've been good. We've been good in the offensive zone which makes it easier to play defense when you have the puck. So, I'm proud of their effort."
In what could be their first true test of the season, players said overall they passed but have things to work on. But, they know games like this are what will get them to the ultimate goal.
"They're a great team," Masotta said. "That's why you play the game to get to the Final Four and to get a shot at a National Championship.
"Playing those types of team that's what's gonna get us there. That's what's gonna make us better. So I think those are all the games that are shown circled on both sides of the calendar. It's a big game for them. It's a big game for us and you know, good hockey."
Plattsburgh, currently ranked No. 3 in the USCHO.com Division III poll, stands with a 3-0-1 record.
They return to the ice Friday at 7 p.m. when they travel to face Potsdam.
Plattsburgh State 2, Norwich 2
PSU 0 2 0 0 — 2
NU 0 1 1 0 — 2
2nd period- 1. NU, Girouard (Brooke, Ohman), 1:01. 2. PSU, Orr (Masotta), 7:32. 3. NU, Orr (Masotta, Forsyth), 18:06.
3rd period- 4. NU, Brooks (Anderson, Girouard), 3:30.
Shots- Plattsburgh, 43-18
Saves- Clark, NU, 38. Nease, PSU, 16