Jan. 29—PLATTSBURGH — For most teams a 7-1 record for the month of January would be something to brag about. For the Plattsburgh State women's hockey team (16-2-1, 11-1-0), it's business as usual.
"We just have everyone and every single line working hard," Taya Balfour said. "Everybody's been committed to a team effort and no individual plays.
"We know we have to put the puck in the net. It's a team effort. It's been great."
This was put on display in the Card's 1-0 victory, Saturday against Williams College.
Balfour, who plays defense, was credited with the assist on the second period go-ahead and winning goal that forward Emily Kasprzak scored.
"I just saw the puck and I was like, 'I have to keep that in as defense and keep that puck in and support.'" she said. Kasprzak was there and she was there to support everybody and then I think Ivy (Boric) was there to support.
"Emily just had a great play to move around the net to score. We just had to keep the puck alive and in our end."
When speaking after the game Kasprzak said she saw an opening and shot the puck towards the net. The rebound came right back to her and she put it in the net.
"Those goals are really important because those can really make or break the game," Kasprzak said in regards to it being a grind it out type of game.
It was a game the Cardinals will likely see more of as the season transitions to the postseason, a grind it out affair. But, as past games against Buffalo State and Middlebury can show, one has to be ready for whatever is presented.
"From (Buffalo State) then to Middlebury, we always have to work hard no matter who we're playing," Balfour said. "We have to keep working hard. Everyone has to keep going no matter what.
"So yeah, it's all about just effort and hard work. and then you see it in practice. You see everyone working their hardest at practice and giving it all and then it's showing in the game. and hopefully we'll continue this for the next six games leading up to the NCAA."
Both Balfour and Kasprzak talked about how the work the team puts in during practice is translating to the ice during gametime.
Kasprzak said work on the forecheck and special team plays — power play and penalty killing — have been the primary focus during practices and said the results are showing.
"Yeah, a lot of effort and time at practice," Balfour said. "Like we work at all our skills and abilities of practice, and then it's showing in the game.
"Everyone just works hard, confident in our play and helping each other to pass the puck and make those plays."
The Cardinals now hit the homestretch where the attention turns to SUNYAC play as their last six games are conference matches. For the first time in a month, the team will be on the road to face Canton (12-8-0, 6-7-0) this weekend.
"We have six big games coming up," Balfour said. "So we have to go and win. Those are gonna be tough competition.
"We have Canton, Potsdam and Cortland. Those games will play a lot into our placement into the NCAA (Tournament). We just have to win those next six and work hard at practice."
Plattsburgh State 1, Williams College 0
WIL 0 0 0 — 0
PSU 0 1 0 — 1
Second Period- 1, PSU, Kasprzak (Balfour), 5:22.
Shots on goal- Williams, 31-20
Saves- Pye, WIL, 19. Nease, PSU, 31