By COURTNEY LEWIS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State scored two goals on the same power play to start Saturday’s third period and was well on its way to the SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey championship game.
“That was huge, obviously. That was the turning point of the game, you know?” Plattsburgh senior Jared Docking said. “The boys were fired up after that, obviously. And a three-goal lead against our team in the third period … not a lot of teams can do that.
“So we felt pretty confident. We just knew if we played good defensively, got the pucks out, we were going to have a good chance to win the game.”
Mark Constantine and Alex Jensen scored the two key goals and the second-seeded Cardinals beat No. 3 seed Geneseo 5-1in a semifinal game at Stafford Ice Arena. Plattsburgh advanced to next week’s final against No. 1 Oswego, which beat No. 4 Buffalo State 5-2 Saturday.
The Cardinals (19-6-1) held a 2-1 lead after two periods. Docking went down hard in the corner early in the third and had to be helped off the ice. Geneseo’s Carson Schell was assessed a five-minute major for hitting from behind and a game misconduct.
The Cardinals quickly took advantage of the long power play, with Constantine making it 3-1 21 seconds in. They continued to have the man advantage, and Jensen took a nice feed from Alex Brenton and banged it past Bryan Haude.
The Knights pulled Haude at the end of the period, and Connor Gorman put the puck in the empty net in the final minute.
Mathieu Cadieux stopped 22 shots for Plattsburgh.
“You’re only as good as your goaltender in this sport … He played great; defense played really well (Saturday),” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “I thought we did a good job for the most part on our D-zone coverage.”
The Knights held an 11-9 edge in shots during a scoreless first period. Then Dillan Fox put the Cardinals on the board just 27 seconds into the second.
“They outplayed us for a little bit in the first period. And we weren’t worried, but we knew we had to pick up our game and then just get momentum,” Docking said. “And the boys got a little fired up when we scored that goal, so it was a pretty big goal. It changed momentum in the game.”
Docking broke into the Knights’ zone, got past a defenseman and muscled the puck through the five hole for a 2-0 lead at 13:08.
Geneseo (17-9-1) pulled back within a goal 1:02 before intermission, when Kaz Iwamoto slammed in a rebound off a long shot by Nate Brown.
“I gotta give Geneseo a lot of credit; they played hard,” Emery said. “I liked their game plan. They came in here and played very simple, and they just tried to peck away, peck away, peck away. They’re a real hard-working team, well coached.”
Docking, Gorman and Fox all finished with a goal and an assist.
Haude made 23 saves.
Plattsburgh 5, Geneseo 1
Geneseo 0 1 0 — 1
Plattsburgh 0 2 3 — 5
First period- Penalties: Emmerling, PSU (interference), 4:44. Rosmarin, Gen (embellishment), 16:03. A. Jensen, PSU (holding), 16:03.
Second period- 1, PSU, Fox (Docking), 0:27. 2, PSU, Docking (Grace), 13:08. 3, Gen, Iwamoto (Brown), 18:58. Penalties: Lubczuk, Gen (cross-checking), 9:21. Grace, PSU (tripping), 16:56.
Third period- 4, PSU, Constantine (Baleshta, Fox), 0:53 (pp). 5, PSU, A. Jensen (Brenton, Gorman), 3:29 (pp). 6, PSU, Gorman, 19:17 (en). Penalties: Schell, Gen (htting from behind), 0:32. Schell, Gen (game misconduct), 0:32. Brenton, PSU (cross-checking), 5:45. Donnelly, Gen (cross-checking), 5:45. A. Jensen, PSU (tripping), 10:31. Puglisi, PSU (slashing), 16:55.
Shots on goal
Geneseo 11 9 3 — 23
Plattsburgh 9 15 4 — 28
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Haude, Gen, 28-23. Cadieux, PSU, 23-22.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Geneseo 0-4, Plattsburgh 2-2.
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