#8 Middlebury Edges Top-Ranked Plattsburgh State, 2-1

2019 Panther/Cardinal Classic Champions. (Will Costello)
2019 Panther/Cardinal Classic Champions. (Will Costello)

Eighth-ranked Middlebury scored once in each of the first two periods, before holding off a late charge by top-ranked Plattsburgh State to claim the title game of the 2019 Panther/Cardinal Classic 2-1 on Sunday in Kenyon Arena. Seventh-ranked University of Wisconsin-River Falls won the consolation game by a 4-1 score over second-ranked Adrian. Middlebury (4-0-2) is home again on Saturday, facing Utica at 3:00 p.m., while the Cardinals (8-1-0) host Potsdam on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Plattsburgh State had a couple of chances just before the midway point of the opening period, with Abby Brush getting back-to-back opportunities from in close that Middlebury goalie Anna Goldstein denied. Taylor Whitney hit the post from the left circle for the Cardinals, before the hosts struck for a goal seconds later. Jenna Letterie pushed the puck into the attacking zone with Maddie Bayard touching a pass to Madie Leidt in the right circle. Leidt moved toward the slot and fired a shot past Plattsburgh State goalie Chloe Beaubien with 10:13 on the clock. Goldstein made her best save of the frame in the final minute on Kaitlin Drew-Mead's rebound attempt.

In the middle period, Middlebury doubled its lead with a great individual effort by Sidney Portner to start the play. She gained possession of the puck at her own blueline and raced toward the Cardinal net on a 3-on-1 rush. Her first shot was stopped by Beaubien, but Katie Hargrave crashed the net, poking in the rebound for a 2-0 cushion with 4:31 expired. The Panthers protected the lead by erasing a Cardinal power to play carry that advantage into the final 20 minutes.

The hosts nearly put home another goal midway through the third frame, as Leidt cruised up the right wing and directed a high shot on goal that Lilla Nease, who replaced Beaubien in net during the second stanza, snared with her glove. Goldstein later made consecutive saves on Sara Krauseneck, with the second of those coming on a partial breakaway.

Plattsburgh State finally solved Goldstein with 2:27 left on the clock, as Brush batted in a centering pass from Annie Katonka. That goal was the first allowed this season by Goldstein, who began the year with a scoreless streak of 177:19. The Cardinals pulled Nease for the final 1:15 of the contest for an extra skater, with Goldstein making a big save with 34 seconds left on a shot by Erin McArdle from the high slot to secure the win.

Goldstein turned away 29-30 Plattsburgh State shots, while Beaubien (24:31) made five stops and Nease (34:14) recorded 11. Plattsburgh held a 30-18 edge in shots and the Cardinals came up empty on two power plays and the Panthers were 0-4. 

All-Tournament Team
Middlebury - Madie Leidt (Most Outstanding Player)
Middlebury - Anna Zumwinkle
Middlebury - Anna Goldstein
Plattsburgh State - Erin McArdle
Plattsburgh State - Nicole Unsworth
Adrian - Denisa Jandova
UW-River Falls -   Abigail Stow