PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team will play its first road games of the season this weekend.
And the Cardinals aren't exactly easing into it.
First up, Friday, at 7 p.m. will be SUNYAC power Geneseo State (3-0, 1-0), currently ranked No. 1 in the country in Division III.
Then, on Saturday, Brockport State (3-0, 1-0) will provide another test for the Cardinals.
“It's a great opportunity for us playing the No. 1 team in the country,” Plattsburgh State coach Steve Moffat said. “You're measured how you play against the best competition and that is right now.
“It's a great test for us all weekend. Every SUNYAC game is big for us, but these two could set the tone.”
Plattsburgh State (2-1-1, 1-0-1) will be hitting the road after playing their first four regular season contests at the Stafford Ice Arena.
“The guys are excited,” Moffat said. “It's a good time to bond.
“We're a close-knit group as is, but I think this will help us even more being on the road, spending time on the bus, eating meals together and spending time in the hotel.”
The Knights have wins at Neumann (6-3), home against Nazareth (7-1) and a conference victory at Morrisville State (4-1). Geneseo, which last played on Nov. 3, held a 42-15 shot advantage over Morrisville.
“Geneseo is very aggressive in every zone and they want to jam it down your throat,” Moffat said. “We like to play fast and they like to play fast.
“They have defensemen who like to jump into the play and their team is lethal on the power play. So we need to stay out of the box.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles own wins over King's College (3-2), Neumann (6-0) and a conference decision over Morrisville (5-2).
“Brockport is undefeated and they are playing really good hockey,” Moffat said. “They may have an ax to grind after we ended their season a couple of years ago in double overtime.
“They will be gunning for us and we have to get up for each game.”
Moffat said it's important to worry more about his team at the moment.
“We had a pretty good week of practice and we have to worry about us and execute,” he said. “It's too early to think about the other teams because we haven't had enough of a sample size.
“We've been doing a good job piecing different things together each week, adding another dimension to our team. We have to continue to figure out what is going well and what isn't. We're still learning more about individual players and our team as a whole.”
The Cardinals will play their next six games on the road, four in the conference and two in the FirstLight Shootout (formerly the PrimeLink Shootout) which will be held at Middlebury College this year.
“We will spend a lot of time together the next three weeks, playing 60 percent of our road games for the season,” Moffat said. “We want to make sure our guys stick to the process and be better this weekend than last.”