RIVALRY RENEWED: Plattsburgh State hits the road to play Oswego, Cortland

KAYLA BREEN/STAFF PHOTOPlattsburgh State's Liam Lawson crashes the net during a SUNYAC men's hockey game Saturday at Stafford Ice Arena.

PLATTSBURGH — Steve Moffat isn't ready to press the panic button.

The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team's 2019-20 season didn't start as promising as hoped for last weekend with State University of New York Athletic Conference home losses to The College at Brockport (3-1) and third-ranked Geneseo (2-1, overtime).

The Cardinals now embark on their first road trip of the season this weekend with conference games at sixth-ranked Oswego tonight and at Cortland on Saturday, both at 7 p.m.

“We had a real good week of practice,” Plattsburgh State first-year head coach Moffat said. “The emphasis was on one-on-one play and to compete with a little bite in our game.

“We played well enough to win both games last weekend. It's a learning curve for our young team and learning how to win.”

The Cardinals managed just two combined goals in two games, both from sophomore defenseman Matt Araujo, despite taking a combined 57 shots on goal.

“We created a lot of scoring chances and had some two-on-ones,” Moffat said. “We had some Grade-A scoring chances.

“We have to manage the puck better, but I thought we did a better job with that on Saturday. We outshot both teams we played, and there is no panic.

“I thought we also did a good job limiting our opponents' scoring opportunities, especially skating five-on-five. We don't have set lines as of yet, and we are still searching. This will be a growing process throughout the season.”

Plattsburgh State struggled offensively last season, scoring 70 goals in 27 games. Players who accounted for just 31 of the goals return. And, two returning players who combined for 10 goals a year ago are currently out with injuries.

Moffat, however, feels it will only be a matter of time before the Cardinals start finding the net with more regularity.

“We're starting the season by playing some really good teams,” he said. “But, you have to play them at some point.

“I wholeheartedly believe that we are only a goal or two away. We scored a combined 11 goals in two exhibitions. I know they are only exhibitions, but it shows we can score.”

Oswego, which skated to a 6-3 victory over Cortland last weekend, will provide another strong test for a Plattsburgh State team loaded with freshmen.

“It's going to be White Out Weekend at Oswego, and their fans will be fired up,” Moffat said. “It will be an emotional and physical game.

“But, those are the fun games to play.”

Recommended for you