Top-ranked Plattsburgh State scored three times during a span of 4:08 in the third period, breaking open a one-goal game as the Cardinals topped Middlebury 4-0 on Wednesday in Stafford Arena. The seventh-ranked Panthers (12-6-2) return home on Friday at 7:00 p.m., kicking off a weekend NESCAC series with Colby.
The Cardinals (20-1) weathered three Middlebury power-play chances in the first period and produced the best scoring opportunity with 8:32 on the clock. Plattsburgh's Meghan Kraus took a pass at the left post, but Panther goalie Julia Neuburger slid across and made the save with her right pad.
The guests almost broke onto the scoreboard in the final 30 seconds when Kelly Sherman, who was playing in her 100th career game, broke in on Cardinal net minder Camille Leonard from the right side. Sherman tried to hit the top-right corner with a rising shot, but Leonard made the save with her left shoulder, keeping the contest scoreless after 20 minutes of play.
In the middle stanza, the hosts opened the scoring after getting a key stop in the defensive end of the ice. Leonard stopped Middlebury's Anna Zumwinkle's shot from the top of the right circle with a pad save and the Cardinals quickly carried the puck in the other direction. Katelyn Turk fired the puck off the rush from the left side that bounced off a player in front and went past Neuburger at the 16:00 minute mark.
Middlebury had a chance to tie the game early in the third period with 1:35 of a five-on-three power play, but the hosts were able to mute the opportunity. Plattsburgh doubled its lead at the 12:58 mark of the third period when Jordan Lipson picked the near top corner of the net with a wrist shot from just below the left faceoff dot. Sarah Wolf scored 2:21 later, jamming in a centering pass into the net from Melissa Ames. Kraus capped the scoring on a breakaway with 2:54 left in the game to close out the scoring.
Neuburger finished with a season-high 33 saves for the Panthers, while Leonard earned her fourth shutout of the season with 17 saves. The Cardinals held a 36-17 advantage in shots, while each team was scoreless on the power play with Middlebury receiving seven opportunities and Plattsburgh having six chances.
The victory extended the Cardinals' winning streak to 14 games and during that time have outscored the opposition 75-10.