Not only does Plattsburgh State have three games in five days, but it also faces three high-level opponents in their own rinks.
The Cardinals' busy week starts with a visit to Kreitzberg Arena tonight to take on No. 5 Norwich. They play Middlebury and Williams this weekend.
"We’re going into our toughest week of the year here," Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. "Not too many times are we going to have three games in a week that tough."
The Cadets (10-2-2) got surprised by Massachusetts-Boston 4-2 over the weekend. Their other loss was to Wisconsin-Superior in the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout consolation game at Stafford Ice Arena.
They have a large senior class but are led in scoring by three senior forwards: Shane Gorman (6-15-21), Travis Janke (6-14-20) and Chris Dusznyski (11-5-16). Norwich doesn't give up many goals — it's tied for fifth in Division III with 1.64 goals allowed per game.
"They’re at home; they’ve got a lot going for them," Emery said. "We gotta go over there and try to play our best game to have a chance to win, believe me. We gotta get good goaltending, gotta play good defense to win that game, for sure."
No. 3 Plattsburgh (12-1-2) will be meeting its first ranked opponent of the second semester. This segment of the season has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start for the Cardinals, but they swept Skidmore and Castleton State last weekend after falling to Hobart Jan. 4.
"Norwich is always a big game when it’s on our schedule. It’s one of those games you kind of look at from the beginning," Platttsburgh forward Dillan Fox said. "But every game is big right now. We dropped one and it stung pretty bad, so we don’t want to do that again. We started off this stretch with two wins, and hopefully we keep it going."
The Cardinals rank second in scoring defense, averaging 1.47 goals allowed on the season. But that number has been higher in recent games, and they have at times given up numerous quality scoring chances.
Against Castleton last Saturday, they gave up one first-period goal and then held the Spartans scoreless the rest of the way. Emery wants them to bring that kind of defensive effort every night.
"We have a good team," Fox said. "And I think some nights we think we have a little better team than we do sometimes. So we just gotta keep it simple sometimes. I think that’s what we did well (Saturday)."
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