PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State began the second part of the men’s hockey season on a good note Friday, getting past Wesleyan and into the Cardinal Classic championship game.
Plattsburgh took an early lead and had a three-goal third period in its 5-1 win at Stafford Ice Arena.
“I thought we did a lot of good things (Friday),” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I thought we played more physical. I thought we did a better job on the forecheck.”
Amherst beat Elmira 5-1 in the opener. Plattsburgh will face Amherst in the championship game tonight, after Wesleyan and Elmira meet in the consolation contest.
Plattsburgh (8-3-1) and Wesleyan (4-4-1) were both playing their first game in three weeks, and Plattsburgh’s Dillan Fox said it took a few shifts to get acclimated.
Kevin Emmerling put No. 8 Plattsburgh ahead late in the first when he sped in on the right side and released a low shot that beat goaltender Glenn Stowell. Emmerling, a freshman forward, is now tied for the team lead with six goals.
Fox, another freshman, notched his first collegiate goal 6:18 into the second to make it 2-0.
“Playing junior and then coming here, it’s always a different type of game, and you’re used to scoring a lot more,” Fox said. “But it felt good to get the first one, and hopefully it keeps going.”
A Wesleyan shot hit a post with just over three minutes left in the period, and then one found the net just before the clock expired. Plattsburgh goalie Mathieu Cadieux went down during a scramble in front of the crease, and Keith Buehler brought the puck into the right circle, turned and fired a high shot with one second left.
“Coming in the locker room at the end of the second period was kind of disheartening because we gave up that late goal, but I thought we played a great period,” Emery said. “We had a lot of good looks in the offensive zone. And to come out of there giving up that late goal was tough to swallow. But we just tried to build in that third period off the good in the second.”