BY RICKY ST. CLAIR Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State men’s hockey coach Bob Emery questioned his team’s decision-making abilities with the puck in its 4-1 win over Geneseo.
Emery, now in his 24th season behind the bench, had no reason to second-guess his players Saturday.
Mark Constantine and Kevin Emmerling each scored two goals as the fourth-ranked Cardinals (3-0, 3-0 SUNYAC) drubbed The College at Brockport in SUNY Athletic Conference play at the Stafford Ice Arena, 6-0.
“Well, I thought we moved the puck well,” Emery said. “We cycled the puck well behind their goal line. We did a good job.”
Kevin Emmerling opened the game’s scoring at the 5:02 mark of the first period. After maintaining possession of the puck and fending off a defender, Dillan Fox found the sophomore forward in front.
“Coach was stressing (to) get the puck down low,” Emmerling said. “Obviously, we want to get on the board first early in the game. That’s kind of the main thing — just keeping it out of our zone and getting it in there.
“(Fox) was real important on that play. I honestly just had to tap it in; I really didn’t have to do too much. My linemates were working well down low.”
Constantine extended Plattsburgh’s lead to two by firing a shot into the top-right corner of the net. The power-play goal was scored at 10:39.
Michael Radisa scored the second period’s lone tally by redirecting a Patrick Hermans point shot past goaltender Jared Lockhurst.
“It was a good job by Hermans getting that puck to the net,” Emery said. “When you get pucks to the net, anything can happen. If you want to get goals, you’ve got to go to the net.”
Maintaining a three-goal cushion in the second period, Emery thought there were instances where his team had a lot of mental lapses.
“We didn’t do a lot of good things consistently,” Emery said. “As a coach, you’re goal every night is (for your players) to play 60 minutes. I think at one time, they had a 9-0 run in shots on net. If they could have got one or two goals there, it could have been a different game.”
Constantine, Fox and Emmerling each scored in the third period at 1:51, 5:21 and 11:25, respectively.
The second line of Alex Jensen, Fox and Constantine combined for three of the team’s six goals.
“They’re good puck-management guys,” Emery said. “They handle the puck and they protect the puck really well. They’re all good skaters, and they can do a lot with the puck by protecting it. I think they do a good job of that and getting pucks stopped and started behind the net and getting pucks low.”
While Plattsburgh converted 1-of-4 power-play opportunities, its penalty kill kept the Golden Eagles (1-3, 1-1 SUNYAC) off the scoreboard on four occasions.
The Cardinals have successfully killed off all 15 short-handed situations this season.
“We spend a lot of time on video on the PK,” Emery said. “It’s the sacrifice the guys make when they’re out there blocking shots and doing the little things on the PK.”
Mathieu Cadieux stopped all 31 shots faced, recording his second shutout this season and the seventh of his career.
Plattsburgh has outscored its opponents 13-1 through three games.
“I’d just like to see us play a little more consistently, but I’m happy with what he have going on the road at 3-0,” Emery said. “Anything less would have been unacceptable. For me, the key is — it begins and ends with defense. We’ve done a job.”
Plattsburgh 6, Brockport 0
Brockport 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 2 1 3 — 6
First period- 1, PSU, Emmerling (Gorman, Baleshta), 5:02. 2, PSU, Constantine (Calabrese, Emmerling), 10:39. Penalties: Mason, PSU (cross-checking), 7:33. DeLuca, PSU (interference), 9:13. BRC (too many players), 18:24.
Second period- 3, PSU, Radisa (Hermans, Scuglia), 3:49. Penalties: Ryan, BRC (tripping), 1:48. Mason, PSU (tripping), 11:24. Jensen, PSU (holding), 12:36. Zagari, BRC (cross-checking), 14:53.
Third period- 4, PSU, Constantine (Fox, Jensen), 1:51. 5, PSU, Fox (Constantine, Jensen), 5:21. 6, PSU, Emmerling (Calabrese, Baleshta), 11:25. Penalties: Kaye, PSU (holding), 1:59.
Brockport 5 12 14 — 31
Plattsburgh 18 14 12 — 44
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Lockhurst, BRC, 44-38. Cadieux, PSU, 31-31.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Brockport 0-4; Plattsburgh 1-4.
Attendance: 2,014 (Sellout).