PLATTSBURGH — Bob Emery is about ready to stop preaching better defense to his Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team.
Not because the message has gotten through, but because he thinks it’s falling on deaf ears.
The Cardinals gave up three goals and multiple breakaways Friday but found the net one more time than Skidmore did for a 4-3 nonconference victory at Stafford Ice Arena.
“Again, it was another great offensive effort for us, and it was a terrible defensive effort,” Emery said. “Our puck movement at certain times was disgraceful, to say the least.
“They’re not listening to me about taking care of the puck, so I don’t know who they’re going to listen to. As a coach sometimes you can over-coach, and I’m not going to say anything now.”
The Cardinals allowed more than one goal just three times in the first semester but have done so in all three of their second-semester games. They host Castleton State tonight.
Barry Roytman tallied a power-play goal late in the second period to put the third-ranked Cardinals (11-1-2) ahead, and they kept the puck out of their net in the third period. But that didn’t necessarily mean they cleaned up their play. During a five minute power play, they coughed up the puck and gave the Thoroughbreds (6-5-4) a short-handed breakaway chance.
Plattsburgh goalie Spencer Finney stacked his pads to deny the shot, but on another breakaway in the first period, Marc Cibelli beat him glove-side for Skidmore’s first goal. And later in that period, Anthony Bird poked the puck away from a Plattsburgh defenseman and was off to the races. His shot sailed high.
Plattsburgh blueliner Anthony Calabrese said those golden opportunities were due to “miscommunications and things like that.”
“We gotta bear down and talk more,” the sophomore added. “We definitely shouldn’t be giving up breakaways at all. This should not be occurring at all.
“We’re a great defensive team, and we gotta get better.”
Finney finished with 19 saves in his first start with the Cardinals after transferring from Colgate during the semester break. Senior Mathieu Cadieux sat out for the first time all season, and Emery said he just wanted to get a look at the sophomore newcomer in a game.
Finney allowed three goals in the first 19:09 but was perfect from there on.
“I don’t think he had a chance on any of those goals,” Emery said. “He hasn’t played a game in a while, and we hung him out to dry. That’s the story of our team this year. We leave our goalie hanging out to dry.”
The Cardinals got off to a great start, taking a lead 43 seconds in on Michael Radisa’s goal, but by late in the first period, they had fallen behind for the third time in as many games. Cibelli tied it, and Aaron Beck gave Skidmore a 2-1 edge at 16:16.
Dakota Mason banged one in for Plattsburgh a minute before intermission.
Calabrese was credited with a goal in the second period, although he said Josh Koerner actually tipped it in, and Beck answered for Skidmore four minutes later when he jumped on a loose puck in the slot and fired.
Roytman’s game-winner came 2:26 before the second intermission.
Jack McDonald made 48 saves for the Thoroughbreds. The Cardinals held a 52-22 advantage in shots, including 19-3- in the third.
“We don’t give up a lot of chances, but when we give ‘em up, we give up great ones,” Emery said.
Plattsburgh State 4, Skidmore 3
Skidmore 2 1 0 — 3
Plattsburgh 2 2 0 — 4
First period- 1, PSU, Radisa (Cassidy), 0:43. 2, Skid, Cibelli, 12:12. 3, Skid, Beck (Krajnak), 16:16. 4, PSU, Mason (Beadow, Hermans), 19:00. Penalties: Brenton, PSU (roughing the goalie), 12:42. Even, Skid (Boarding), 14:34. Gorman, PSU (tripping), 14:38.
Second period- 5, PSU, Calabrese (Farnan, Gorman), 5:01. 6, Skid, Beck (Dupius), 9:09. 7, PSU, Rotyman (Mason), 17:34. Penalties: Krajnak, Skid (interference), 0:40. Calabrese, PSU (hitting after whistle), 11:32. Beck, Skid (hitting after whistle), 11:32. Hermans, PSU (elbowing), 14:55. Limoges, Skid (hitting from behind), 16:23. A. Jensen, PSU (elbowing), 19:16. Limoges, Skid (interference), 19:49.
Third period- Penalties: Limoges, Skid (hitting from behind), 2:40. Cassidy, PSU (high sticking), 4:14. Limoges, Skid (boarding), 5:13. Limoges, Skid (game misconduct), 5:13. Brenton, PSU (goaltender interference), 20:00. McQuillan, Skid (unsportsmanlike), 20:00.
Skidmore 10 9 3 — 22
Plattsburgh 16 17 19 — 52
Goaltenders (shots-saves): McDonald, Skid, 52-48. Finney, PSU, 22-19.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Skidmore 0-6, Plattsburgh 1-5.
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