---- — BROCKPORT — After a disappointing effort Friday night, the special teams accounted for two goals as the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team rebounded for a 3-0 shutout victory at Brockport Saturday.
While securing the weekend split was crucial, the Cardinals (5-1, 5-1) also entered Saturday’s game looking to avenge the late-season 4-2 loss suffered on Brockport’s home ice a season ago.
The two teams played scoreless hockey for much of the first period, but the Cardinals tallied a late goal to gain momentum before heading to the locker room. After Nick Jensen was sent to the box on a slashing call, the penalty-kill unit was able to keep the Golden Eagles (3-5-1, 3-3) off the board, while generating some offense. Luke Baleshta set up Jared Docking, who scored his second short-handed goal of the season at the 18:40 mark of the first, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
“(Docking’s goal) definitely provided a lift and we were able to get out of the first period up 1-0,” Plattsburgh State head coach Bob Emery said. “I just thought we played smart in our end and moved the puck well. We could have been more opportunistic. We got some good looks that we didn’t score on and couldn’t get the all-important three-goal lead until the third period.”
Mark Constantine made it 2-0 at 7:50 of the second period with a power-play goal from Alex Jensen and Mike Grace.
Plattsburgh grabbed the ever-important three-goal lead with 6:59 gone in the final period when Alex Jensen took a pass from Constantine and beat Brockport goaltender Aaron Green.
“Everyone played with more hunger and heart,” Emery said. “I told the players before the game ‘talent alone won’t win, hard work beats talent.’ There was certainly more giddy up.”
The Cardinals finished the night with a 31-29 advantage in shots on goal. Plattsburgh went 1-for-6 with the extra man, while Brockport was 0-for-6.
Plattsburgh goaltender Mathieu Cadieux earned his second shutout with 29 saves. Green stopped 28 shots in the loss for the Golden Eagles as his record drops to 1-2 on the year.
“(Cadieux) gave a chance to win,” Emery said. “We have to prepare to win games 1-0 and we could have (Saturday). We were solid defensively and battled harder. Defense wins games and I’m proud we didn’t allow a goal.”
A tough assignment awaits the Cardinals next weekend in the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. Norwich University will serve as the host for the 15th edition of the annual tournament. Plattsburgh will open the highly-anticipated weekend against Middlebury College Friday at 4 p.m., while Norwich will host this year’s invitational team, St. Thomas, at 7 p.m. The consolation and championship games will follow on Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m., respectively.
“We’ve got three weeks remaining in the semester and four games on the road,” Emery said. “As a team, we need to get in better shape.”
Tickets for this year’s PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut are still available at www.cadetstickets.com.
Plattsburgh State 3, Brockport 0
Plattsburgh 1 1 1 — 3
Brockport 0 0 0 — 0
First period- 1, PSU, Docking (Baleshta), 18:40 (sh). Penalties: Docking, PSU (tripping), 4:25. Sachman, B (hooking), 7:15. Team, PSU (too many players on ice), 11:16. Cavalieri, B (slashing), 12:30. N. Jensen, PSU (slashing), 17:25.
Second period- 2, PSU, Constantine (A. Jensen, Grace), 7:50 (pp). Penalties: Vaisanen, B (tripping), 6:35. Smith, PSU (slashing), 9:51. Luker, B (cross-checking), 13:42. Farmer, B (slashing), 19:58.
Third period- 3, PSU, A. Jensen (Constantine), 6:59. Penalties: A. Jensen, PSU (diving), 10:48. Cangro, B (tripping), 14:21. Puglisi, PSU (interference), 17:05.
Shots on goal
Plattsburgh 5 14 12 — 31
Brockport 4 15 10 — 29
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Green, B, 31-28. Cadieux, PSU, 29-29.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Brockport 0-6; Plattsburgh 1-6.