GENESEO — After Geneseo had bottled up Plattsburgh State for most of the third period, Devon Rice scored with just 57 seconds left to lift the Knights to a 3-2 victory in SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey Friday.
It was the Cardinals’ first loss of the season.
“But it was a game we didn’t deserve to win at all,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I’m happy for Geneseo. I’ve been in this a long time, and the team that wants it the most, the team that works the hardest, the team that puts their bodies on the line should win the game. They did all three.”
Plattsburgh continues its road weekend tonight at Brockport.
The Knights (4-4-1, 3-1-1 SUNYAC) outshot the Cardinals 14-8 in the first period and got on the board with a power-play goal by Ryan Bulach in the middle of the period.
“The first period, they just wanted the puck,” Emery said. “They beat us to all the loose pucks and won the 50/50 battles. They ran us out of the rink. We were lucky to be down by one.”
Geneseo took a 2-0 lead 3:12 into the second period on a goal by Jonathan Sucese. But Emery said Plattsburgh (4-1, 4-1) played better in the period, sparked by two power-play goals.
Nick Jensen tallied on an assist from Paul Puglisi to put the Cardinals within a goal at 10:14. Then Luke Baleshta tied it at 16:59 with assists from Alex Jensen and Mike Grace.
“In the third, it was back and forth, back and forth,” Emery said. “They played Katy bar the door, so we couldn’t get anything going. We didn’t get many chances or shots on goal because I think they were happy being 2-2. They were just whacking the puck out of the zone, playing more secure.
“Then we made a bad play at the end of the game. We weren’t playing to tie, but to lose like that — bad coverage in front of our net — is unacceptable.”
Rice took advantage of the miscue and one-timed the game-winner. Alex Lubczuk assisted.
Bryan Haude took over Geneseo’s goaltending duties in the second period and made 14 saves to earn the win. Mathieu Cadieux had 31 saves for Plattsburgh.
“I sensed it all week long, that we would have our work cut out for us,” Emery said. “I talked before the game about will not skill, and it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Geneseo outwilled us in the first period. And then they carried that momentum all game.
“You learn a lot about a team after a loss. A little adversity is good, so we’ll see where we go from here.”
Geneseo 3, Plattsburgh 2
Plattsburgh 0 2 0 — 2
Geneseo 1 1 1 — 3
First period- 1, Gen, Bulach (Vit, Caradonna), 10:46 (pp). Penalties: Docking, PSU (goaltender interference), 4:24. Beadow, PSU (interference), 9:54.
Second period- 2, Gen, Sucese (Ripple, O’Connor), 3:12. 3, PSU, N. Jensen (Puglisi), 10:14 (pp). 4, PSU, Baleshta (A. Jensen, Grace), 16:59 (pp). Penalties: Brenton, PSU (goaltender interference), 0:52. Ryan, Gen (goaltender interference), 4:30. Cook PSU (cross-checking), 7:51. Caradonna, Gen (tripping), 8:19. Lubczuk, Gen (boarding), 12:10. Manley, Gen (interference), 16:04.
Third period- 5, Gen, Rice (Lubczuk), 19:03.
Shots on goal:
Plattsburgh 8 13 4 — 25
Geneseo 14 13 7 — 34
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Cadieux, PSU, 34-31. Rubeniuk, Gen, 9-9. Haude, Gen, 16-14.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh 2-4; Geneseo 1-4.