PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State jumped in front early Friday, as it often has this season, and this time the Cardinals were happy with the way they played once they had the lead.
Plattsburgh scored twice in the first 9:43 of the game and held Wisconsin-Superior at bay the rest of the way for a 4-1 victory in the first round of the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. The Cardinals will meet Middlebury in the annual men’s hockey tournament’s championship game today at the Stafford Ice Arena.
No. 3 Plattsburgh (7-0-1) has sometimes had lapses after taking the lead, but coach Bob Emery said his team was more consistent Friday.
“I think we played a pretty smart 60 minutes for the most part,” Emery said. “I think we were a little opportunistic early in the game, but I think we played smart with the lead and we did a good job chipping pucks out and getting pucks in deep when we had that lead.”
No. 15 Middlebury reached the final by winning a shootout against Norwich. Plattsburgh will be in the championship game for the first time since 2010 and is seeking its fourth PrimeLink title.
“It’s good to finally get back to the championship game here,” Plattsburgh junior Alex Brenton said. “It’s always a hard tournament. All these teams that come here are very tough. We just gotta come (today), play our A game, and we should be fine.”
Michael Cassidy scored from Brenton to put Plattsburgh ahead 6:31 into the game, and then Brenton made it 2-0 a few minutes later. Wisconsin-Superior’s Anton Svensson pulled his team back within a goal at 12:57.
Dillan Fox slid in a shot 1:10 into the second to push Plattsburgh’s lead to two again.
The Cardinals have been working on improving their play in the defensive end.
“We played a solid game front to back,” Brenton said. “Chewy (Mathieu Cadieux) stood on his head; he made a couple big saves. We were blocking shots as forwards. Our defense were making some nice, solid defensive plays as well, and we put a couple pucks in the back of the net and won the game.”