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January 4, 2013

Cards working to improve power play

After starting the season with a dangerous power play, Plattsburgh State has scored just two goals during the man advantage in its last seven games.

The Cardinals, who are on the road against Skidmore and Castleton this weekend, have been putting in extra work on the power play.

“We’re struggling a bit,” sophomore forward Alex Jensen said. “We started out real hot; then lately coming into break we struggled. Coming back we’re still kind of trying to find our way with the power play.

“We’re trying too much. We just gotta keep it simple and get some more shots — I think that’s what we’re lacking.”

Plattsburgh (8-4-1) has 14 power-play goals this season, and 12 of them came during the first six games. It ranks 32nd in Division III men’s hockey with a 20.9 percent success rate.

Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said anything above 25 percent is pretty good, and when the team is playing well it’s often around 30 percent. But he also said those numbers are harder to reach when you’re playing top teams. After the Cardinals went 0-for-5 on the power play against Amherst last weekend, he noted that their power play has been pretty quiet against elite teams.

They’re 1-for-24 when playing opponents that were ranked in the USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll at the time, with the only goal coming against St. Thomas in the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout.

Jensen said it’s important to make sure you’re not stagnant during a power play.

“We gotta move,” he said. “As long as everyone is skating and not standing still. If we’re moving or taking the puck to the net and not looking for the extra pass, or shoot instead of passing, I think that’s the key.”

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