By COURTNEY LEWIS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Saturday’s game didn’t matter in the SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey standings, but beating Oswego for the second time this season still meant plenty to Plattsburgh State.
Kevin Emmerling tallied two goals and an assist to help Plattsburgh take down the Lakers 4-3 at Stafford Ice Arena to wrap up the regular season.
“It’s definitely big for our momentum,” Emmerling said. “It’s a great rivalry, and we wanted to do this one for the seniors (Saturday). We just went out there and worked hard. So it was a good win, a good team effort all around.”
The Lakers had already clinched the regular-season conference title. The Cardinals (18-6-1, 13-2-1 SUNYAC) finished with 27 points, one point out of first place. Plattsburgh will host a SUNYAC Tournament semifinal game next Saturday.
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the second period. The second-ranked Lakers (22-3, 15-1) had a good rebound chance in the middle of the period and thought they scored, but the officials ruled Mathieu Cadieux kept the puck out of the net. Cadieux made another tough save on a 2-on-1 moments later.
Then, during a Plattsburgh power play, Dillan Fox took a shot from the slot, and the rebound came right out to Emmerling, who fired it past Andrew Hare to put the Cardinals ahead.
With Plattsburgh on another power play a few minutes later, Oswego’s Matt Singleton chased the puck into the Cardinals’ zone, and Cadieux came way out of his crease to try to get to it first but fell. Singleton got tangled up with a Plattsburgh defenseman but the puck bounced to David Titanic, who put it in the empty net.
The frenetic pace continued, and Plattsburgh regained the lead when Nick Jensen scored from the left circle 1:13 later. Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery called that a “huge” goal.
In the third, Michael Cassidy broke in all alone, but Hare stopped him and then turned away his rebound chance as well. But the ninth-ranked Cardinals put another one past Hare at 7:45, when Connor Gorman skated around the net and dished to Emmerling in front.
Luke Moodie made it a 4-3 game at 10:52. The Lakers pulled Hare in the final minute but still couldn’t tie it.
“I thought we, at times, got frustrated getting out of our own end. And then when we did get in the offensive zone, I thought it was the opposite — we rushed things,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “And we’re usually pretty patient, and we’re usually looking to make a second pass. (Saturday) just seems liked we wanted to get it in and get it to the net instead of taking the time and making the extra pass or making the extra play.”
Cadieux totaled 26 saves, and Gosek said the junior goalie was the difference in the game.
“I thought he was very good,” Gosek said. “He made some big-time saves. That’s two games in a row now against us I thought he was the first star of the game.”
Bobby Gertsakis poked in the puck from right in front of the crease to give Oswego a 1-0 lead at 14:42 of the first. Plattsburgh answered on a power play of its own three minutes later, when Mark Constantine scored from the right point.
Emmerling finished with three points for Plattsburgh, and Constantine and Jared Docking had two.
Hare stopped 31 shots.
Plattsburgh recognized its five seniors — Docking, Mike Grace, Patrick Jobb, Josh Leis and Paul Puglisi — before the game.
The Cardinals also defeated Oswego on the road Dec. 1. Saturday, they beat their archrival at Stafford for the first time since March 7, 2009.
“The guys were pretty much playing for pride here. But I think it’s a good statement for us,” Emery said. “Oswego is one hell of a hockey team; they’ve got an unbelievable coach. And to be able to beat them twice in one season is pretty good.”
Plattsburgh 4, Oswego 3
Oswego 1 1 1 — 3
Plattsburgh 1 2 1 — 4
First period- 1, Osw, Gertsakis (Pa. Rodrigues, Whitelaw), 14:14 (pp). 2, PSU, Constantine (Emmerling, Docking), 17:49 (pp). Penalties: Muise, Osw (hitting after the whistle), 8:01. Roytman, PSU (interference), 10:31. Cook, PSU (interference), 14:15. Muise, Osw (interference), 17:15.
Second period- 3, PSU, Emmerling (Fox, Constantine), 14:01 (pp). 4, Osw, Titanic (Singleton), 17:26 (sh). 5, PSU, N. Jensen (Dockings, A. Jensen), 18:39. Penalties: Kim-Swallow, Osw (tripping), 6:55. McConney, Osw (roughing), 13:06. Leimbrock, Osw (interference), 15:53. Radisa, PSU (boarding), 19:25. Third period- 6, PSU, Emmerling (Gorman, Puglisi), 7:45. 7, Osw, Moodie (Whitelaw, Pa. Rodrigues), 10:52 (pp). Penalties: N. Jensen, PSU (holding), 5:18. A. Jensen, PSU (elbowing), 9:29. Gorman, PSU (tripping), 10:40. A. Jensen, PSU (hitting after the whistle), 15:33.
Shots on goal:
Oswego 8 13 8 — 29
Plattsburgh 9 16 10 — 35
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Hare, Osw, 35-31. Cadieux, PSU, 29-26.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Oswego 2-7; Plattsburgh 2-5.
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