Last season was a roller coaster for the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team, and the Cardinals got their most thrilling win in a game that mattered most.
Matt Araujo played the hero for Plattsburgh when he scored in double overtime of the Cardinals' SUNYAC first-round game at Brockport.
Plattsburgh faced plenty of adversity on the road.
The Cardinals held a 2-1 lead late in the third period, but after the Golden Eagles pulled their goalie, they tied it up with 1:04 remaining in regulation when Jeremy Solar scored to send the game to overtime.
Plenty of back-and-forth action ensued in the first overtime period, but neither squad could light the lamp.
Araujo handed Plattsburgh and its fans a great moment when he found the back of the net on the power play with 11:09 to go in the second overtime.
There's nothing like playoff hockey, and there's nothing like scoring an overtime winner.
The Cardinals ended up falling to Oswego in the semifinals, but their first-round win was still a great North Country sports moment.
BROCKPORT — What an incredible win.
Matt Araujo's power-play goal with 11:09 gone in the second 20-minute overtime Wednesday night lifted the fifth-seeded Plattsburgh State men's hockey team to a 3-2 victory over fourth-seeded The College at Brockport in the State University of New York Athletic Conference Tournament first round.
"It was an incredible feeling when Matt scored to win it,” Cardinals coach Steve Moffat said. "He's been working in practice on his shot.
"I feel great for the players. They worked so hard, did everything we asked of them and sacrificed. They were able to overcome some adversity.
"I felt our special teams were good, and our penalty kill was outstanding."
Plattsburgh advanced to play second-seeded Oswego next Tuesday in a semifinal.
"They re-seed after the quarterfinals, and we will play at No. 2 seed Oswego on Tuesday," Moffat said. "Oswego is having trouble with their ice, and the game has been moved."
Sixth-seeded Potsdam upset third-seeded Buffalo State on Friday and will play top-seeded Geneseo in the semifinals.
The Cardinals held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period and nearly held on. But, the Golden Eagles pulled their goalie for an extra attacker in the late going and Jeremy Solar's goal forced overtime at the 18:56 mark.
"It was a little more stressful than we wanted it to be," Moffat said. "Near the end of regulation, we lost the faceoff in our end. The puck took a crazy bounce into the net for them. It was going wide but hit someone's skate.
"We were playing one of our best third periods of the season. We were cycling, getting the puck down low and taking it to them. But, they are a veteran team that's been in this situation before."
The two teams then battled their way through the first 20-minute overtime, with neither being able to decide the issue.
It went to the second extra session, and it was more of the same until Brockport was whistled for a tripping penalty that erased a Plattsburgh State scoring opportunity. Araujo then drilled a shot from straight on into the net to send the Cardinals into celebration.
Both goaltenders were outstanding. Plattsburgh State's Jimmy Poreda stopped 37 of 39 shots and Brockport's Matt Schneider turned away 41 of 44.
The Cardinals held a 9-3 edge in shots on goal in the second overtime.
Christian DiFelice scored the first two goals of the game to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The first came at 12:27 of the first period and the second, off a nice two-on-one down low with Hunter Alden, was at 9:29 of the second.
Doc Gentzler, however, cut the Golden Eales' deficit in half at 13:38 of the second.