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By TIM PULSIFER Staff Writer for the Press Republican

I know, I know ó whatís the big deal?

But, if youíre going to recognize somebody as Athlete or Athletes of the Year, you really ought to get it right.

Unfortunately, in the case of the most recent announcement of this past yearís recipients at our own Plattsburgh State, that just didnít happen.

Taking nothing away from Gena Rosenbaum of the womenís soccer team or Peter Ollari of the menís hockey team, they both had great years, but there was only one Plattsburgh State athlete out there this year, who really stood out on a state and national level.

I know womenís hockey doesnít get the attention received by some of the other "major" sports, but that shouldnít disqualify a player like Elizabeth Gibson who, not only dominated in her own conference, but, also ranked at or near the top nationally, in just about every major offensive category in Div. III.

Gibsonís sophomore year was every bit as impressive (perhaps even more so, considering the extra attention she drew from opposing defenses as well as a strengthened 2002-2003 schedule) as her freshman campaign, when she established herself as one of the top two or three Div. III players in the country.

For a second straight year, the Bath, Ont. sniper was the best offensive player on a Cardinals squad that finished fifth in the country (by far, the highest ranked program on the PSUC campus, this past year. Sorry, guys.) in the final USCHO poll in just their second year of existence.

In just 49 games thus far, Gibson has scored 66 goals, assisted on another 53, giving her the highest points-per-game (2.43) of any Div. III player in the country.

By comparison, Rosenbaum and Ollari, ranked as two of the better players in their respective conferences (SUNYACs) this past year.

The choice seems to have been a pretty easy one.

To say that Gibson didnít get it because she wasnít nominated by her coach (Scott Dockett, who recently resigned and moved out of town, for personal reasons), just doesnít make any sense.

Does that mean that Barry Bonds doesnít deserve to make the Major League Baseball All Star Team if you donít put his name on the ballot?

I didnít think so.

Certainly somebody else could have stated the obvious and added Gibsonís name to the mix, if thatís what it would take to get it right.

The bad news is that the school blew it this time around. The good news, however, is that they still have two years to get it right ó before Gibsonís #23 goes up on the wall at the Ron Stafford Ice Arena.



Kevin Houle, who helped the men's hockey team to two NCAA Division III national championships as an assistant and associate coach, has been named interim head coach of the womenís hockey team, Director of Athletics Peter Luguri announced April 29.

Houle replaces Scott Dockett, the programís first-ever coach who resigned in March for personal reasons.

"This is a great opportunity to join a program thatís already established and has accomplished a lot in a short time," said Houle. "Itís bittersweet to move on to a new opportunity and leave the guys Iíve worked with for so long, but I can still see them every day and watch them develop. Iím looking forward to this new challenge, and I look forward to continuing the womenís hockey teamís success and hopefully competing for a national championship in the near future."

"Weíre excited to have Kevinís leadership and wealth of experience guiding our womenís hockey program," Luguri said. "In two years the team has been established as a national power, and with his familiarity with the program and extensive recruiting ties, Kevin is exceedingly qualified to continue its progress into the ranks of the elite."

The assistant coaching vacancy left by Houle on the menís hockey side will be filled on an interim basis by Steve Moffat, a two-time All-American at Plattsburgh and currently a part-time assistant coach. In addition, a search for a half-time assistant womenís coach will begin immediately, to be filled prior to the coming season.



Scott Dockett, who led the Plattsburgh State womenís hockey team to 38 wins in its first two seasons of competition in Division III, has resigned as head coach for personal reasons, PSU Director of Athletes Peter Luguri announced Wednesday.

"Scott has provided first-rate leadership to the program over the last two years and leaves after establishing Plattsburgh State womenís hockey as one of the best programs in the nation," Luguri said.

Dockett said that he was resigning over "family responsibilities in Michigan" and was leaving with nothing but positive feelings for the Cardinal program.

"I was really happy here," said Dockett. "Iíve got nothing but good memories. The girls were terrific, on and and off the ice, and I couldnít have asked for more support (from the school)."

Dockett, the only coach in the programís short history, was hired in 2000 to begin the team. After competing during the 2000-01 season as a club team, the Cardinals posted a 21-4-2 record in 2001-02 and followed that up with an 18-5 record this past season.

Both years, the Cardinals were runner-ups in the ECAC West, losing in the conference tournament final both years to eventual national champion Elmira.

"We had six or seven months to get the team together ... it was pretty hectic. " said Dockett. "But with a lot of hard work and a little luck, I think we put together a good program.

"I think itís solid as a rock right now. The team should be successful for years to come."

In 2001-02, the Cardinals were the only team to blemish Elmiraís record, posting a win and a tie against the Soaring Eagles.

Plattsburgh State finished the 2001-02 season ranked No. 9 nationally in the poll and was No. 5 in the final 2002-03 poll.

Plattsburgh State, in 2001-02, was fourth nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense, and in 2002-03, the Cardinals were second in scoring offense and seventh in scoring defense.

"I think winning our first game at home against Elmira may have been the best memory," said Dockett. "Iím just glad I got a chance to coach all the wonderful student athletes here."

Dockett coached nine All-Conference and five All-Rookie selections, including the 2001-02 ECAC West Rookie of the Year, Liz Gibson. Gibson was the nationís leading scorer during the 2002-03 season.

Dockett said that he would eventually like to return to coaching, but may seek a teaching job in Michigan in the meantime.

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11/02 @M.ville
11/08 @Buffalo St.


  Liz Gibson is our player of the year for 02-03.

Gibson, a sophomore forward of Bath, ONT, led the nation in scoring for 02-03.

"Liz has continued to be a big factor for us," said coach Scott Dockett. "Sheís been a consistent scorer, and weíre looking for her to continue to play well through the playoffs."

  ECAC West standings:

1.Elmira (12-0-0)
2.Plattsburgh (10-2-0)
3.Utica (7-4-1)
4.Buffalo (3-6-3)
5.Cortland (3-7-2)
5.Neumann (3-7-2)
7.Chatam (0-12-0)

  Current Cardinal Scoring Leaders:

1. Elizabeth Gibson (27-24-51)
2. Lindsay McCafferty (18-22-40)
3. Lynn Taylor (18-22-40)
4. Jenn Clarke (18-12-30)
5. Chantalle Rye (11-14-25)

Cardinal Goaltending:

Carolyne Roy 1.91 / .905
Sue Whitcomb 0.82 / .878