Cards start playoffs with Brockport

KAYLA BREEN/STAFF PHOTOPlattsburgh State's Joe Drabin handles the puck along the boards during a non-conference men's hockey game against Elmira, Jan. 4, at Stafford Ice Arena.

 

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team's last trip to The College at Brockport wasn't a pleasant one.

The fifth-seeded Cardinals (9-13-3, 6-8-2) will be hoping for much better results when they oppose the fourth-seeded Golden Eagles (15-9-1, 8-7-1) tonight at 7 p.m. in the State University of New York Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

Plattsburgh State opened its 2019-20 regular season by dropping a 3-1 decision to Brockport at Stafford Ice Arena, with all four goals being scored in the second period.

But, a 4-1 loss to the Golden Eagles on Jan. 24 in Brockport was one of the most frustrating games of the season for Plattsburgh State.

The Cardinals gave up two power-play goals, a short-handed goal and an empty-net goal. Plattsburgh State had a goal disallowed when the outcome was very much still in doubt, and frustration was shown when the Cardinals took 39 minutes in penalties compared to six for the Golden Eagles.

In fact, Plattsburgh State played short handed for 11 of 20 minutes in the third period.

"At this time of the season, discipline is at the forefront," Plattsburgh State coach Steve Moffat said. "We have to stay out of the penalty box, and we did a pretty good job with that over the weekend, except for near the end in Saturday's game.

"Brockport is good on the power play, and it's crucial that we stay out of the box."

The Cardinals clinched the fifth seed in the tournament by sweeping Morrisville, 8-2 and 5-1, at home this past weekend.

"We come into the Brockport game with a three-game winning streak," Moffat said. "We need to just worry about ourselves and make sure we play our game. We have to play to our strengths and identity.

"We will make some adjustments for Brockport. We're pretty evenly-matched teams, and the scores of our earlier two games with them weren't indicative of how the games were played."

Brockport closed out its regular season last Saturday with a 6-4 loss at SUNYAC regular season champion Geneseo. The Golden Eagles have nine players with 10 points or more on the season.

"They are a pretty good skating team," Moffat said. "They work hard and come at you hard, especially on the forecheck.

"Both goalies will need to play well, and special teams could have a big say in the outcome.

"Our penalty kill has been good, but I would like to see us keep the puck out of our zone a little more."

The line of Joe Drabin (8-15-23), Adam Tretowicz (9-9-18) and Mitchell Hale (2-7-9) has been leading the team offensively for the Cardinals.

Goaltender Jimmy Poreda sports a 9-9-3 record and 2.72 goals-against-average.

Eleven players scored at least one goal in the two-game set with Morrisville.

Plattsburgh State will not quite be at full strength for the Golden Eagles.

Freshman defenseman Ryan Hogg received a game disqualification on Saturday and will sit out tonight's contest.

And, Moffat said a couple of other players are battling the flu bug.

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