CORTLAND — The Cortland Red Dragons played strong defense for two periods Friday, but Plattsburgh State wore them down and broke the game open with three goals in the third.
Mark Constantine had a goal and as assist as the Cardinals won the SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey game 4-0.
“They were great defensively. Territorially, we had the puck in their end a lot,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “It’s hard to play good, solid defense for 60 minutes. Cortland was bending, bending, bending, and they were playing hard. We kept the puck in low, and Constantine got a nice goal, and then (Dillan) Fox had a nice goal. That all originated down low.”
The top-ranked Cardinals (9-0-1, 7-0-1 SUNYAC) wrap up the first semester tonight at Oswego.
Cortland (3-5-2, 3-4-1) fired 31 shots at Plattsburgh’s net, forcing Mathieu Cadieux to make some tough saves. He totaled 31 to earn his third shutout of the season.
Alex Brenton scored at 15:14 of the first period, and the Cardinals hung onto the 1-0 lead until the middle of the third period.
“I thought we were being too fancy for the first two periods,” Emery said. “We passed up a lot of good shots, good scoring chances looking for the pretty goal. We gotta work against that and keep it simple.”
Constantine gave Plattsburgh some breathing room 9:52 into the third, followed by goals from Fox and Kyle Hall. Freshman Graham Yeo assisted on the last goal for his first collegiate point.
Lyle Rocker made 36 saves for the Red Dragons.
“Give the team credit. Cortland is a hard rink to play in, especially when you’re playing Oswego the next night,” Emery said. “We don’t use that as an excuse, but I know it’s hard.”
The Lakers (5-2, 4-2) defeated Potsdam 7-1 Friday.
“Oswego has been getting better and better every game,” Emery said. “They shellacked Potsdam (Friday), so it’s going to be a tough game. We’ll have our work cut out for us.”
Plattsburgh 4, Cortland 0
Plattsburgh 1 0 3 — 4
Cortland 0 0 0 — 0
First period- 1, PSU, Brenton (Radisa, Cassidy), 15:14. Penalties: Henrici, Cort (boarding), 3:04. Calabrese, PSU (holding), 9:40. Hermans, PSU (boarding), 15:40.
Second period- Penalties: Calabrese, PSU (tripping), 3:55. Henrici, Cort (elbowing), 5:35.
Third period- 2, PSU, Constantine (A. Jensen), 9:52. 3, PSU, Fox (Constantine), 13:49. 4, PSU, Hall (Yeo), 15:49. Penalties: Wagner, Cort (high-sticking), 5:02. Kaye, PSU (interference), 10:23.
Shots on goal:
Plattsburgh 12 10 18 — 40
Cortland 8 12 11 — 31
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Cadieux, PSU, 31-31. Rocker, Cort, 40-36.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh 0-3, Cortland 0-4.