From training camp to the post game victory celebration, Plattsburgh’s resolve to return to the championship was obvious to every coaching staff in the country who attempted to wrest the Cardinals momentum away. Countless long nights of viewing film and the like, went for naught as the Cardinals blitzed through both the regular and playoff seasons, with hardly a blip. Through it all, Coach Kevin Houle and his crew went through the process, displaying a refreshing even keel. “We were always aware of a ‘not too high, or never to low’ philosophy,” said Houle. Houle’s words resonated with his players as well. All-American goalie Sydney Aveson, spoke of the mental aspect of immediately disregarding a goal scored upon her; something that did not occur frequently enough for Plattsburgh’s opponents.
It’s been a long time, unofficial consensus, among sportswriters and all media that hockey players are the most enjoyable to cover on a regular basis. One of the reoccurring thoughts is that hockey players ‘didn’t forget where they come from’; an homage of sorts to hard work, as well the wide spectrum of positive values that go into reaching such a lofty level. Sentiments to that effect, were on full display during the final four weekend. The relationship between the media contingent and players, coaches and team personnel was an irrefutable success.
Hard to let go
Among the seniors who were in the last phase of their collegiate careers, Norwich’s Tori Charron, garnered a majority of the attention and mutual respect from all involved. Charron’s career numbers were off the charts. Transferring from Elmira after the 2011-12 season, the Tecumseh, ONT, native, had hoped to go out with a national championship in her grasp. A one-sided defeat to the Cardinals was obviously outside of her plans. Regardless of the initial shock of the loss, Charron made it known, moments after the final buzzer, that moving east to northern Vermont “was the best decision I’ve ever made” and that her teammates were unrivaled in making her time with the Cadets, a success.
Saturday’s championship game attendance was third highest in history; behind 2005 (Middlebury vs. Elmira, 2335) and 2003 (Elmira vs. Manhattanville, 2110). St. Thomas junior forward Paige Baldwin’s four-game goal streak came to an end in Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin-River Falls. Baldwin had two shots on goal in the game…Norwich forward Tori Charron also had an impressive points string halted, courtesy of the Cardinals. Charron’s 11-game run finished with 10 goals and five assists…Plattsburgh’s nine goals were the most in a title game since Amherst captured a 7-2 win over Norwich in 2010…St. Thomas senior Christina Rozeske will have scant time to rest upon returning back to Minnesota. Rozeske takes to the track where she is a three-time All-American as a member of the Tommies 4×100 sprint quartet…Aveson set a single-season save percentage record at .971…Cardinals coach Kevin Houle was named STX/AHCA Division III Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season…Charron finished her two-year career at Norwich with 59 goals and 31 assists in 59 games. Prior to moving to Norwich, Charron registered 67 points. Overall, the Cadets senior collected 105 goals in 110 games… Plattsburgh graduates six seniors including Aveson, leaving a void of more than 75 total points and a wealth of shutouts…The Stafford Ice Arena was well received as a championship venue by fans from the three visiting schools. A large portion of the likeability must be attributed to the Cardinals Sports Information Department; who, like their team, were at the top of their game.