PLATTSBURGH — After going the whole first semester without a loss, Plattsburgh State had its streak come to jarring end in the first weekend of the second semester.
“There was a bunch of sad faces in the locker room after (a 3-1 loss to Hobart last Saturday),” forward Alex Jensen said. “I think this entire week is about revenge because we’re not used to losing this year. It’s a big change, actually. It was a completely different mood than after a normal game.”
It’s a mood the Cardinals (10-1-2) hope they don’t experience much more. They look to get back on track as they host Skidmore tonight and Castleton State on Saturday.
“Well it’s our first major piece of adversity for the year, so it is a good test for us,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I’m always a big believer in adversity is good for you, depending how you come out of it.
“You know, not only was that Hobart game a big, important game, but it was also a home game. With our tough road schedule coming up, we gotta really do a good job here this coming weekend at home.”
The Thoroughbreds (6-4-4) come into Stafford Ice Arena on a three-game winning streak that includes a 3-1 victory over Castleton on Tuesday. In the first semester, they took Norwich to overtime before falling 3-2.
Aaron Beck leads the team with 11 goals and 15 points, and five other players have reached double digits in points. Freshman Jack McDonald has had most of the starts in net, recording a 2.46 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.
Castleton (7-6-1) split a pair of games last weekend before falling to fellow ECAC East team Skidmore. The Spartans knocked off the Cardinals last year 5-2.
The Cardinals are in the middle of a stretch of seven nonconference games. They’ll face Norwich, Middlebury and Williams next week before returning to SUNY Athletic Conference play Jan. 24. These games could have an impact on Plattsburgh’s postseason outlook.
“Well you know, the goal is obviously to make the NCAA tournament, and if you can take care of business in your nonleague games, that really helps out a great deal,” Emery said.
Jensen leads No. 3 Plattsburgh with 17 points, including 13 assists, and his linemates Dillan Fox (8-5-13) and Mark Constantine (5-6-11) are not far behind. The offense has been humming along, but Jensen and Emery both said that the defense needs to get better.
“Our D-zone hasn’t been very good this year,” Jensen said. “So instead of maybe scoring four goals a game, we can maybe cut it down to three or two and only let in zero or one goal. I think that should be the focus.”
The Cardinals may be without Constantine this weekend; Emery said he suffered a concussion when he was hit into the boards against Hobart.
Email Courtney Lewis:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @sportsCourt
Watch Cardinal Q&A For more from Bob Emery and Alex Jensen.