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December 28, 2012

Cards set for Classic

Plattsburgh hosts Wesleyan in opening of Cardinal Classic tourney

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team hasn’t played in three weeks.

Coach Bob Emery said it shows.

But he knows the other teams at this weekend’s Cardinal Classic will be in the same boat.

“We look a little sluggish. Guys can work out all they want, but if they’re not skating, it’s not the same,” Emery said. “But every team in the tournament is going to be at the same level.”

No. 8 Plattsburgh hosts Wesleyan tonight in the annual tournament at Stafford Ice Arena. The first game will feature No. 11 Amherst and Elmira. Today’s winners will play Saturday night, following the consolation game.

Wesleyan (4-3-1) last played Dec. 6 with a 3-1 win over Wentworth. Wesleyan, which is also the Cardinals, plays in the NESCAC. The team has averaged 4.0 goals per game, and leading scorer Nick Craven is averaging one goal per game, which is tied for second in Division III. The senior forward has eight goals and four assists and is closely followed by junior Keith Buehler, who sports a 3-8-11 scoring line.

“I know Wesleyan plays everybody tough,” Emery said. “Any team that plays us obviously is going to come in here with the attitude of everything to gain, nothing to lose. We have to equal their hard work and emotion.”

The coach added that he expects his team to be rusty in the first period but hopes it can “work the kinks out” as the game goes on.

Plattsburgh was hit by the injury bug at the end of the first semester, and Emery said defenseman Anthony Calabrese, who had a concussion, has not been cleared yet. Fellow blueliner Brandon Beadow is also still out. Preston Kaye, who returned for the final game before the break, is now back to 100 percent.

Emery said there haven’t been any roster changes between semesters.

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