By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — It’s only been three games, but the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team hasn’t been scoring many goals early on in contests thus far.
The well-conditioned Cardinals, however, are showing they know how to finish off a game.
Plattsburgh got a big goal late in the second period to break a 1-all tie and added four more in the third for a 6-1 victory over Buffalo State in SUNY Athletic Conference play at the Stafford Ice Arena on Friday night.
“It wasn’t a 6-1 game,” said Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery. “I was pleased with our defensive zone coverage and the breakout out of our zone.
“But Buffalo State played hard and they know what (Kevin) Carr can do for them in goal. They’ve had success against us the last few years playing like this.”
It was a 1-all tie when Michael Cassidy’s goal put the Cardinals (3-0-0, 3-0-0) ahead to stay with 26 seconds left in the second period. Cassidy took a centering pass in front from Alex Brenton.
“That was a huge goal for us,” said Emery. “Cassidy and Brenton played great for us tonight grinding it out. A goal like that at the end of the period gave us the momentum going into the third and took some of the wind out of their sails.”
Plattsburgh came out flying in the third and spent much of the time in the Buffalo State end before Brenton stuffed in a rebound at the 5:31 mark to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead and some breathing room.
The end for the Bengals (2-3-1, 1-2-1) came when they were whistled for a five-minute major for hitting from behind at 13:55.
The Cardinals took full advantage by scoring three power-play goals in less than a minute’s time.
Freshman Luke Baleshta tallied his first Plattsburgh goal at 16:14, jumping on a loose puck in front of the Buffalo State net. Kevin Emmerling then took a pass in front from Nick Jensen from the sideboards to make it 5-1 at 16:39. Baleshta added his second goal when he tallied on a tip-in at 17:03 to close out the scoring.
“We bent, but we didn’t break tonight,” said Emery. “We were able to play our style of hockey for 60 minutes.”
Although the Cardinals, who had eight freshmen in the line-up, held a 15-7 shot advantage in the first period, it was a scoreless game until Mark Constantine and Nick Jensen executed a nice give-and-go with Constantine one-timing the puck into the net with 1:25 left in the period.
In the second period, Plattsburgh continued to get the puck on net with a 16-8 edge in shots on goal.
But the Bengals tied the contest following a scramble in front of the Cardinals’ net. The puck went back to Nick Melligan, who sent a low shot past goalie Mathieu Cadieux, who was making his first start of the season.
That would be the only goal allowed by the junior, who stopped 19 of the 20 shots that came his way.
Carr was busy in the Buffalo State nets with 41 saves in all as Plattsburgh finished with a 47-20 shot advantage.
The Cardinals will complete their home weekend with a 7 p.m. game tonight against Fredonia, which skated to a 3-1 victory at Potsdam on Friday night.
Plattsburgh 6, Buffalo State 1
Score by periods:
Buffalo State 0 1 0 — 1
Plattsburgh 1 1 4 — 6
First period- 1, PSU, Constantine (N. Jensen), 18:35. Penalties- Hale, BS (tripping), 4:47. Puglisi, PSU (roughing), 8:15. Bessing, PSU (interference), 11:44. Lewis, BS (tripping), 15:10. Constantine, PSU (embellishment), 15:10. Cook, PSU (contact to the head), 19:09.
Second period- 2, BS, Melligan,l 10:54. 3, PSU, Cassidy (Brenton), 19:34. Penalties- Cassidy, PSU (boarding), 8:33. Corrigan, BS (interference), 13:34. Corrigan, BS (checking), 17:18.
Third period- 4, PSU. Brenton (Radisa, Cassidy), 5:31. 5, PSU, Baleshta ppg (Gorman, A. Jensen), 16:14. 6, PSU, Emmerling ppg (N. Jensen, A. Jensen), 16:39. 7, PSU, Baleshta ppg (Roytman, Cook), 17:03. Penalties- Zannella, BS (hitting from behind, game misconduct), 13:55.
Shots on goal:
Buffalo State 7 8 5 — 20
Plattsburgh 15 16 16 — 47
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Carr, BS, 47-41. Cadieux, PSU, 20-19.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Buffalo State, 0-3. Plattsburgh, 3-5.