Plattsburgh seizes East-West Classic, Productive new faces for St. Anselm

Cardinals, Balisy prevail in Vermont send off
Whether the 2013-14 edition of the East-West Classic affords a template for future achievement in the spring most likely depends on perspective. Plattsburgh came away from Kreitzberg Arena with arguably the clearest vision of its adeptness in the wake of a 6-0 drubbing of host Norwich on Saturday and a subsequent 1-0 win in which it was bolstered by Bridget Balisy’s first period power-play goal against Manhattanville the following day. With three goals and an assist, Balisy acquired Most Valuable Player honors.

Elmira, fortunate in rising up to erase a two-goal deficit in the third in a 2-2 deadlock against Manhattanville, was less so in a 3-2 loss to Norwich on Sunday. All of the Cadets scores arrived in in the first period.  Norwich junior goalie Taylor Fairchild was awarded her first career start in the victory. Elmira’s power play was rendered inefficient (0-9, vs. Norwich, 1-16 overall) in the two outings.

St. Anselm gets push from freshman
A sparse weekend schedule notwithstanding, St. Anselm got out of the proverbial gate precisely the way it concluded its ECAC-East jaunt in 2012-13. Finishing with seven consecutive victories last February, the Hawks opened with a pair of one-goal, home ice wins over Massachusetts-Boston (2-1) and Sacred Heart (4-3/OT).

Although the graduation of both Kathryn Picarello and Rosemary Giarrusso, who combined for 38 goals and 76 points a year ago, created a glaring omission, St. Anselm ultimately returned six of its eight top scorers to the offensive mix, including senior Courtney Winters, who posted 22-21-43 numbers, good for second in the conference, and junior Tiffany Herron (38 points).

This weekend however, the focus was underscored by a pair of freshman whose presence figured in both outings. Alexandra Starzyk and classmate Chelsea Stanclift were responsible for both markers in the Mass.-Boston go-round, with Starzyk garnering the game-winner by means of the power play in the second period. Mass.-Boston averted a whitewash with four seconds to go in regulation with a six-on-three power play. Starzyk secured her second game-winning goal of the weekend just 29 ticks into the extra period against nonconference foe Sacred Heart. Sophomore Sarah Geisinger centered Starzyk and Herron in the win over the Pioneers. The line totaled four points on the night.

Head coach Kerstin Matthews, in her sixth campaign, is now within eight wins of 100 in her tenure with the Hawks. St. Anselm redirects its collective efforts to the road, where it fashioned a 9-0-2 record in 2012-13 with a pair of nonconference matchups against Neumann.

Oswego on point
Oswego State kicked its new season into play with a 5-0 win over (NC) New England College at the Oswego State Classic. Freshman Ashley Lyman put three points (1-2-3) in her ledger, while senior captain Olivia Boersen scored twice. The Lakers outshot NEC, 48-11, in the game. Sunday, Oswego senior Megan Hagg provided (NC) Castleton State with its initial loss of the year by scoring 2:31 into overtime in securing a 3-2 result. Castleton had edged Cortland, 1-0, in its opener, while Cortland reset with a 4-1 triumph over NEC.

Kivisto tacks on four in split
Wisconsin-River Falls split a pair with Bethel, winning the opener, 5-3, and falling Saturday afternoon by an identical score. Bethel sophomore Caroline Kivisto concluded the weekend with four goals including two of the power-play variety. Wisconsin-Superior pounded on Hamline 12-1 on Friday before finishing the two-game set with 4-2 win. Dani Schultz got both game-winning goals for Wis.-Superior.