December 2, 2012

Shorthanded Cardinals hold off Oswego


---- — OSWEGO — With injuries plaguing the back line, the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team overcame the odds to defeat top-ranked and previously unbeaten Oswego State, 2-1, in a SUNY Athletic Conference showdown Saturday at the Campus Center Ice Arena.

Mathieu Cadieux gave the Cardinals a stellar performance in net, stopping 34 of the 35 shots faced to lead the Cardinals (7-2-1, 6-1-1 SUNYAC) to victory. Cadieux improved to 4-2-1 on the year.

“We played really good defensively,” Plattsburgh State coach Bob Emery said. “We blocked a lot of shots. (Cadieux) was great in net. It was one of those games where we really sacrificed. I don’t know how we held on; guys were really tired at the end. They really persevered.”

The Cardinals entered Saturday’s game with only five healthy defensemen after losing Preston Kaye, Anthony Calabrese and Brandon Beadow to injuries. With junior forward Nick Jensen already penciled in on defense, it appeared the bad luck would continue as senior defenseman Mike Grace was helped off the ice after a hit into the boards just 15 seconds into the game. Luckily for the Cardinals, Grace was not seriously injured and returned in the second period.

Plattsburgh came out strong to start the game, outshooting the Lakers (8-1, 7-1) by a 15-9 margin in the first period.

With the teams skating four-on-four early in the game, the Cardinals were able to strike first on Paul Puglisi’s first on the year at the 5:10 mark. Puglisi gathered the puck just inside the blue line and fired a shot through a screen that found its way past Oswego goaltender Andrew Hare to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

With seven minutes remaining in the first and Plattsburgh on the penalty kill, sophomore forward Alex Brenton came in on a breakaway and sent his shot through the five-hole to make it 2-0.

“It was key to get the two-goal lead and take the crowd out of game,” Emery said.

Midway through the third period, Plattsburgh took consecutive hooking penalties to give the Lakers a man advantage for almost four minutes. After a flurry of shots, the Lakers were finally able to find the back of the net with four seconds left on the second power play. Bobby Gertsakis fired a high shot that bounced off the glass and back to the crease, where Chris Muise buried the rebound past Cadieux to make it a 2-1 game at 11:07.

The Lakers threw everything they had at the Cardinals from that point forward as Plattsburgh struggled to get out of their own end for the final 10 minutes. Oswego State pulled Hare with 1:03 remaining in regulation for the extra skater, but Emery called a timeout with 51 seconds left to allow the Cardinals time to regroup.

“I think our guys learned what it takes to win big-time college

hockey games,” Emery said. “It’s not just talent. It’s leadership, hard work and sacrifice. The guys really did sacrifice their bodies throughout the game.”

The Cardinals play host to Norwich University Friday at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

“It’s great to play back-to-back No. 1 teams,” Emery said. “I’m sure Norwich will be No. 1 Monday and they’re coming to our barn, so we’re looking forward to that.”

Plattsburgh State 2, Oswego State 1

Plattsburgh 2 0 0 — 2

Oswego 0 0 1 — 1

First period- 1, PSU, Puglisi (Docking, Mooney), 5:10. 2, PSU, Brenton, 13:00 (sh). Penalties: Cook, PSU (boarding), 4:05. Muise, O (tripping), 4:57. Rodrigues, O (charging), 5:46. Gertsakis, O (hooking), 7:34. Team, PSU (too many players), 11:52. Cook, PSU (hooking), 15:59. Singleton, O (tripping), 18:46.

Second period- Penalties: Grace, PSU (interference), 2:52. Grace, PSU (indirect contact to the head), 4:03. Grace, PSU (hooking), 5:32.

Third period- 3, O, Muise (Gertsakis, Rodrigues), 11:07. Penalties: Baleshta, PSU (facemasking), 2:44. Swallow, O (tripping), 2:44. Muise, O (roughing), 2:44. McConney, O (tripping), 3:55. Smith, PSU (hooking), 9:11. Jensen, PSU (hooking), 9:11. Muise, O (disqualification), 20:00. Muise, O (spearing), 20:00.

Shots on goal:

Plattsburgh 15 6 5 — 26

Oswego 9 13 13 — 35

Goaltenders (shots-saves): Cadieux, PSU, 35-34. Hare, O, 26-24.

Power plays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh 0-6; Oswego 1-8.

Attendance: 3,000 (Sellout).