By COURTNEY LEWIS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Bill Beaney couldn’t tell if his Middlebury Panthers were ready for game time or tea time at the start of Friday’s contest at Stafford Ice Arena. Middlebury fell behind in the opening minute and never caught up as Plattsburgh State skated off with a 7-1 win in nonconference men’s hockey. “They came to play, and we were wondering if it was Friday or if it was Monday afternoon tea, I’m not sure,” Beaney said. “We weren’t into it and you could tell.” Michael Cassidy earned five points for the 10th-ranked Cardinals, and Max Balaban had two goals and an assist. Plattsburgh outshot Middlebury 43-19, and Mathieu Cadieux picked up the victory with 18 saves. “I thought we did a good job getting pucks in deep and finishing checks,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “We’ve been trying to force our guys to play more physical, and I thought we played really physical (Friday) and I think it showed. Playing physical causes the other team to rush a lot and turn pucks over.” The Cardinals (10-5-1) host No. 13 Williams tonight. Plattsburgh led almost from the get-go Friday. Mark Constantine scooped up a loose puck in front of the net and flipped it over Middlebury goalie Liam Moorfield-Yee's left shoulder 36 seconds in. The puck was coughed up a couple more times in front of the Panthers' net, and Beaney called a timeout at 6:53. Shortly afterward, Andrew Smith fired a shot from the left side with Moorfield-Yee tangled up in front of the crease. Moorfield-Yee jabbed his stick at the puck but couldn't keep it out of the net. He was pulled in favor of Nick BonDurant. Late in the period, Middlebury (5-7-2) got within one when Evan Neugold's low shot from the high slot found the net during a power play. The Cardinals pulled way in the second. Cassidy banged in a goal from the left side 3:27 in to give them a 3-1 cushion. Then Balaban skated in and unleashed a high shot for his first career goal, and Jared Docking tallied the third goal of the period when he went top shelf on a short-handed breakaway. “I think we just kept the energy going, honestly,” Balaban said of the second period. “We definitely did a better job getting pucks out and pucks deep. Still a few turnovers and stuff, but I think it was just we kept the energy going and they couldn’t keep up with us. We kept the puck below their goal line, and they couldn’t get anything on us.” Balaban potted his second of the night in the final period, and Preston Kaye scored a power-play marker with 1:26 left. Kaye finished with two points, and Michael Radisa and Barry Roytman both had two assists. “I thought Plattsburgh was real sharp (Friday),” Beaney said. “That’s as sharp as I’ve seen them play in a long time. They were alert; they were moving pucks, winning pucks. I think they played solid in all aspects (Friday).” Middlebury used three goaltenders, with Moorfield-Yee taking the loss. Plattsburgh's Nick Jensen, normally a forward, skated on the blueline Friday. Emery has been unhappy with the team’s defensive play lately and said he made the move to send a message to the defensemen. “I thought defensively we really owned the paint in our end. And I thought the shots that they had 5-on-5, especially, were outside the paint, and I thought that was really good for us,” Emery said. “I thought our goalie was great. It’s not the seven goals that won the game for us (Friday), it was the one goal against that won the game for us.” — Plattsburgh 7, Middlebury 1 Middlebury 1 0 0 — 1 Plattsburgh 2 3 2 — 2 First period- 1, PSU, Constantine (Fox, Farnan), 0:36. 2, PSU, Smith (Kaye, Roytman), 8:36 (pp). 3, Midd, Neugold (Belisle), 18:09 (pp). Penalties: Steele, Mid (interference), 8:30. Pollock, Mid (roughing), 8:36. N. Jensen, PSU (embellishment), 8:36. Fox, PSU (tripping), 16:51. Second period- 4, PSU, Cassidy (Balaban, Radisa), 3:27. 5, PSU, Balaban (Cassidy, Radisa), 15:45. 6, PSU, Docking (Cassidy), 17:34 (sh). Penalties: Belisle, Mid (hooking), 0:58. A. Jensen, PSU (interference), 9:31. Beadow, PSU (holding), 16:42. N. Jensen, PSU (tripping), 17:13. Donahoe, Mid (roughing), 17:13. Brazier, Mid (slashing), 17:34. Farnan, PSU (interference), 19:22. Brown, Mid (high sticking), 19:57. Third period- 7, PSU, Balaban (N. Jensen, Cassidy), 13:11. 8, PSU, Kaye (Cassidy, Roytman), 18:34. Penalties: Wiggins, Mid (interference), 3:53. Smith, PSU (interference), 15:01. Belisle, Mid (holding), 17:02. Grace, PSU (holding),17:02. Longo, Mid (boarding,), 17:53. Shots on goal: Middlebury 12 6 1 — 19 Plattsburgh 18 12 13 — 43 Goaltenders (shots-saves): Moorfield-Yee, Mid, 14-12. BonDurant, Mid, 16-13. Peters, Mid, 13-11. Cadieux, PSU, 19-18. Power plays (goals-opportunities): Middlebury 1-4, Plattsburgh 2-6. Attendance: 1,667.
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