PLATTSBURGH — Two preseason polls put Plattsburgh State among the top five teams in Division III men’s hockey, but after the first game of the season, coach Bob Emery wasn’t convinced the Cardinals belong there.
Plattsburgh shut out Potsdam 3-0 in a SUNY Athletic Conference game Friday at Stafford Arena, but Emery said the team has work to do.
“I know one thing, we’re not the second-best or fifth-best team in the country by the way we played (Friday),” Emery said. “I didn’t like our puck management, and I didn’t think we played an honest game at times. And when I say honest, I mean smart. We gotta play smarter.”
Nick Jensen and Dillan Fox both finished with two points for the Cardinals, and Mathieu Cadieux earned the shutout.
Plattsburgh started the second period with a 5-on-3 advantage and didn’t need long to give itself an advantage on the scoreboard. Jensen scored from near the top of the slot 41 seconds in.
“It gave us a little more puck possession right off the bat, and luckily we took care of business right away,” Jensen said of the two-man advantage. “That gave us a little breathing room. But we have to keep working harder. We had little glimpses here and there, so as a team overall we still have to work harder.”
Patrick Hermans, a freshman defenseman, notched his first collegiate goal on a long shot from the left point at 3:31 to make it 2-0.
The Bears took a timeout in the middle of the period and appeared to regroup a little. They started getting more chances, including a shot that clanged off the pipe, and Plattsburgh called timeout with 5:22 left in the period.
“We got a two-goal lead and gave up a grade-A scoring chance,” Emery said. “We got a little lucky; they hit the crossbar. That goes in, it’s a totally different game. And that was the result of bad puck management.”