BY COURTNEY LEWIS Press-Republican
---- — Plattsburgh State will play its next nine SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey games on the road, starting this weekend with the longest trip of the regular season.
The Cardinals will visit Fredonia tonight and Buffalo State Saturday.
“This is a real tough road trip for us. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve been successful in both games,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I think they’re anxious to get on the road. Road trips can be fun because you get to hang out with the guys. So the guys are looking forward to it.”
Plattsburgh (3-0) began the season with three SUNYAC games at Stafford Ice Arena. The Cardinals will host two tournaments and two other nonconference games in the upcoming months, but their next home conference game isn’t until Feb. 7.
The last time they defeated Fredonia and Buffalo State during the same road trip was during the 2009-10 season.
The Blue Devils (1-2, 1-1 SUNYAC) knocked off Oswego on the road in their season opener and fell to Cortland the next night. Last weekend, they were shutout 2-0 by Canton.
“They beat Oswego. Anytime you go into Oswego and win, you can beat anybody,” Emery said. “They’re always charged up against us.
“Fredonia plays really good defensively. We have to be prepared to win 1-0.”
Fredonia has 13 freshmen and six sophomores on its roster. Two of those young players, Hunter Long and Mitch Kaufmann, have led the Blue Devils is scoring in the early going, and freshman Chris Eiserman has seen time in net in all three games.
Buffalo State (2-2, 2-2), is coming off of a weekend split with Morrisville.
Plattsburgh is the only team still unbeaten in SUNYAC play. The Cardinals, who are ranked third in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll, have been helped by their specials teams so far this season. Their penalty kill is a perfect 15-for-15, and they’ve also scored a short-handed goal.
“I think two things make your PK good — your players are willing to sacrifice, and your goalie is playing well,” Emery said. “Our penalty killing has been pretty good because the players have obviously been sacrificing a lot and Chewy (Mathieu Cadieux) has been good in net.”
Emery added that the Cardinals have experienced players on their power-play units. Defenseman Barry Roytman leads them with two power-play goals. The Cardinals rank fourth in Division III with a 33.3 percent success rate during extra-man opportunities.
Dillan Fox leads the team in overall scoring with two goals and three assists.
Emery said Plattsburgh will be without defenseman Nick Jensen for the second straight weekend. The senior has a hand injury.
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