Cardinals back at home as regular season nears end

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Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 2:23 am

PLATTSBURGH — As Plattsburgh State enters the final two weekends of the regular season, coach Bob Emery hopes the Cardinals will ramp things up.

“Well, I don’t know if any of our guys have a sense of urgency. That’s just not the type of makeup of our team, unfortunately,” Emery said. “We’re a skilled team, a fast team, so we have to compensate one way or another.

“Hopefully as the season goes on and the games get bigger, we can find that sense of urgency.”

Plattsburgh has four regular-season men’s hockey games left, starting with Fredonia tonight and Buffalo State Saturday. The Cardinals (16-3-2, 9-1-2 SUNYAC) are first in the SUNY Athletic Conference standings and trying to hold off Geneseo, which has six games left. Buffalo State is in third place.

Mark Constantine, for one, thinks the intensity is picking up.

“Every game is meaning so much more,” the junior forward said. “Each game is a playoff game now, pretty much.”

Fredonia (7-9-4, 4-4-3) swept Morrisville last weekend. The Blue Devils are in fifth place and looking to hang onto a playoff spot.

Plattsburgh beat Fredonia 4-2 in their first meeting this season.

“With Fredonia, they can be a team that can come in here and give you a bomb,” Emery said. “They’ve taken points from us in the past here. So they’re going to come in here, let it all hang out, sacrifice a lot, block a lot of shots and try to wait for us to make a mistake.”

Buffalo State (9-8-3, 6-3-2) defeated Cortland and Oswego two weeks and had last weekend off.

Constantine leads Plattsburgh with nine goals, and Alex Jensen, Dillan Fox and Alex Brenton all have eight. Jensen has a team-high 22 points.

Jensen missed a 5-3 loss to Geneseo and a 5-4 win over Brockport last weekend because of a knee injury. Emery said the junior winger was looking good in practice but would be a game-day decision.

After playing six straight road games, the sixth-ranked Cardinals will be back at Stafford Ice Arena for at least four games. Constantine said they’re looking forward to playing in front of a Stafford crowd.

“It’s going to be nice to have the fans finally with us and not against us,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to play at home than away. With winter break, no one around and then going on the road, it was pretty long, and it wasn’t really fun.”

Email Courtney Lewis:clewis@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @sportsCourt

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