---- — RUTLAND — Castleton scored three goals in the second period on its way to defeating Plattsburgh State 5-2 in a nonconference men’s hockey game Saturday.
The Cardinals trailed 4-0 midway through the second period.
“We were not focused in the Amherst game and the game (Saturday) on being a good defensive team,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I’ve said this team is having a hard time finding its identity, and I think they still haven’t found it.
“We need better leadership, and we gotta get more guys who hate to lose.”
Brett Zeggil gave Castleton a 2-0 cushion just 2:38 into the second period. When Dan Bell scored at 10:33, Plattsburgh starting goalie Mathieu Cadieux was replaced by Josh Leis. Cadieux had 10 saves on 13 shots.
“I definitely don’t blame the loss on him,” Emery said. “I think we were giving up too many quality chances. Even though we won 7-1 (Friday against Skidmore), he made some great stops. I think we’re relying on him too much. And maybe he wasn’t quite as sharp (Saturday) as he has been.”
Leis lasted 32 seconds until Ryan Frost made it 4-0 and Sam Foley took over between the pipes.
Brandon Beadow tallied for the ninth-ranked Cardinals (9-5-1) with just under five minutes left in the period, and Kevin Emmerling scored in the third. But they couldn’t get any closer, and Bell added an empty-netter at the end.
“We don’t handle adversity well,” Emery said. “When things are going bad, to turn the game back around and come from behind — we don’t handle it well. That’s something we need to work on.”
Gabriel Cromp netted the Spartans’ (8-5-2) first goal 9:43 into the game. Erick Cinotti posted the win with 25 saves.
Foley made 12 saves for Plattsburgh. Both teams had 27 shots on goal.
The Cardinals fell to 3-4 in nonconference games.
“They wanted it more than us. We didn’t deserve it (Saturday),” Emery said.
Castleton 5, Plattsburgh State 2
Plattsburgh 0 1 1 — 2
Castleton 1 3 1 — 5
First period- 1, Cas, Cromp (Mack), 9:43. Penalties: Bando, Cas (hooking), 10:16. Cromp, Cas (checking from behind), 14:42.
Second period- 2, Cas, Zeggil (Mack, Herzog), 2:38. 3, Cas, Bell (Delorme, Greene), 10:33. 4, Cas, Frost (Bando, Lesswing), 11:05. 5, PSU, Beadow (Puglisi, Docking), 15:05. Penalties: Baleshta, PSU (holding), 19:36. Greene, PSU (holding), 19:36.
Third period- 5, PSU, Emmerling (Baleshta, Gorman), 11:41. 6, Cas, Bell (Herzog, Barber), 19:55 (en). Penalties: A. Jensen, PSU (holding), 1:03. Alonzo, Cas (slashing), 1:59. Docking, PSU (tripping), 16:00. Bell, Cas (boarding), 17:48.
Shots on goal:
Plattsburgh 6 9 12 — 27
Castleton 10 7 10 — 27
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Cadieux, PSU, 13-10. Leis, PSU, 1-0. Foley, PSU, 12-12. Cinotti, Cas, 27-25.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh 0-4, Castleton 0-2.