PLATTSBURGH — After going a month between games, the Cardinals said rust wasn’t really a problem Friday in the first round of the Buck Supply Winter Classic.
But their defensive-zone play was.
Top-ranked Plattsburgh State fell behind unranked Hamilton early in the second period before coming back to win 5-2 at Stafford Ice Arena, spurred by Alex Brenton’s hat trick.
Coach Bob Emery said the Cardinals’ first-semester issues carried over.
“I just think we had the same struggles we’ve had all year. I don’t think we did well in our own end,” he said. “I thought we did a lot of good things on the attack. I think we did a lot of good things on our offensive-zone offense and our cycle. And we got some good looks with that.”
The Cardinals (10-0-2) earned a spot in the men’s hockey tournament’s championship game today against Hobart, which beat Williams 3-2 in overtime Friday afternoon.
Plattsburgh looked like it would take a lead into the first intermission, but Mike DiMare skated in and beat Mathieu Cadieux with 27 seconds left to knot it at 1-1. The Continentals (3-4-1) carried momentum into the second period and pulled ahead at 1:52 when Pat Curtis scored during a 5-on-3 advantage.
“Just mental breakdowns, I think,” Brenton said. “We just gotta be better in the defensive zone and just play better. They just came out flying, and they took it to us.”
Kyle Hall tied it at 7:24. He came in and took a forehand shot, and Hamilton goalie Joe Quattrocchi got a glove on it but slid back into the net. Brenton’s second goal of the night, on a backhander from the slot, put the Cardinals ahead in the middle of the second.
Dillan Fox scored in the third after the Continentals coughed up the puck, and Brenton tallied an empty-netter with 2 seconds left.
Emery said the Cardinals played better in the second and for half of the third but then turned the puck over too much.
“Give Hamilton a lot of credit. They didn’t quit,” Emery said. “And they caused us to make a lot of turnovers in the last 10 minutes. We gotta be better than that. We gotta be tougher on ourselves and more accountable with the puck.”
The coach added that the Cardinals spent too much time in the penalty box during the game. They gave Hamilton two 5-on-3 advantages and totaled six penalties, all in the last two periods.
Cadieux picked up the win and stopped 29 saves. Brenton netted the game’s first goal just after the midway point of the first period with an assist from Nick Jensen, who made his return from a hand injury suffered in the season opener and also assisted on Hall’s goal. Alex Jensen finished with two assists as well, and Brenton earned one.
In the opening game, Mac Olson scored nine seconds into overtime to give Hobart a win. Robert Sovik put the Statesmen (3-4-4) ahead 19 seconds into the first, and Tommaso Traversa made it 2-1 in the third before Williams’ Sam Gray tied it with 8:46 left. Lino Chimienti had 24 saves for Hobart. The Ephs (5-1-2) will play Hamilton in the consolation game this afternoon.
Emery said Hobart plays hard, does the little things well and usually comes out ready to play.
“We gotta find ways to play that way, too,” Emery said. “They have a lot of energy guys, and they play with a lot of energy. We don’t have many guys playing with a lot of energy — they rely too much on their skill. And it’s going to come back and bite us.”
Plattsburgh 5, Hamilton 2
Hamilton 1 1 0 —0
Plattsburgh 1 2 2 — 5
First period- 1, PSU, Brenton (N. Jensen), 10:52. 2, Ham, DiMare (Carkeek), 19:33.
Second period- 3, Ham, Curtis (DiMare, Matheson), 1:52 (pp). 4, PSU, Hall (Brenton, N. Jensen), 7:24. 5, PSU, Brenton (Cassidy), 10:43. Penalties: Radisa, PSU (interference), 0:35. N. Jensen, PSU (tripping), 1:27. Hermans, PSU (iterference), 8:10. Quattrocchi, Ham (roughing), 8:30. Botting, PSU (high sticking), 13:35. Baleshta, PSU (high sticking), 14:30. Matheson, Ham (interference), 14:48. Third period-
Third period- 6, PSU, Fox (A. Jensen), 7:49. 7, PSU, Brenton (A. Jensen), 19:58 (en). Penalties: Carkeek, Ham (elbowing), 2:39. Vazquez, Ham (tripping), 9:10. Hermans, PSU (hooking), 12:08. O’Neill, Ham (tripping), 15:28.
Shots on goal:
Hamilton 10 12 9 — 31
Plattsburgh 13 17 12 — 42
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Quattrocchi, Ham, 41-37. Cadieux, PSU, 31-29.
Power Play (goals-opportunities): Hamilton 1-5, Plattsburgh State 0-5.
Hobart 3, Williams 2 (OT)
Williams 0 1 1 0 — 2
Hobart 1 0 1 1 — 3
First period- 1, Hob, Sovik (Fiorentino), 0:19. Penalties: Hanzlik, Hob (interference), 18:50.
Second period- 2, Wil, Anderson (Hunkele), 10:25. Penalties: Hobart (protocol violation), 0:00. Johnson, Wil (tripping), 1:05. Bingaman, Hob (tripping), 6:10. Michel, Hob (boarding), 13:20. Hunkele, Wil (hitting after whistle), 17:37.
Third period- 3, Hob, Traversa (Belizario, Michel), 6:10 (pp). 4, Wil, Gray (Johnson, Hunkele), 11:14. Penalties: Mork, Wil (interference), 5:33. Hobart (too many players on ice), 9:13.
Overtime- 5, Hob, Olson 0:09.
Shots on goal:
Williams 11 8 7 0 — 26
Hobart 13 11 11 1 — 36
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Dougherty, Wil, 36-33. Chimienti, Hob, 26-24.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Williams 0-4, Hobart 1-3.