The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team has a lot to look forward to this season, coming off of another competitive and successful season.

“We have a pretty young team this year with 22 freshmen and sophomores,” assistant coach Steve Moffat said. “Each and every day we’ve been getting better which is the goal as the season goes on.”

After losing nine seniors from last season, this year’s seniors, forward Kyle Hall, defender Patrick Hermans and goalkeeper Brady Rouleau, will look to provide the necessary leadership and guidance for the Cards this season.

“Going forward, there is a lot of excitement with the team this year,” Hall said. “Plattsburgh has a really good culture in working hard with a lot of respect, and I think the new guys can step right in and fill that role.”

Head coach Bob Emery, who is entering his 28th season with the Cards, is no stranger to success, as he is responsible for over 60% of the programs win total, along with two national championships and 15 SUNYAC championships.

“He has an unbelievable winning tradition here,” Hall said about Emery. “We have a good team every year, he makes us work as hard as we can and gets the full potential out of everyone which is really critical in helping us exceed as a team.”

After winning its exhibition opener last Saturday defeating Cégep André Laurendeau 4-0, PSUC continued to do mixing and matching during the practices throughout the week leading up to the season opener this Saturday.

“It was a strong season last year for the most part,” junior Brandon O’Quinn said. “Ending it the way we did, these guys have rallied together and became pretty optimistic on what we can accomplish this season.”

The off season was a long one for the Cards after failing to capture their 16th SUNYAC championship nor a bid to the NCAA tournament. The expectations are high as they look to redeem themselves.

“Playing SUNYAC opponents will be a lot of fun,” Hall said. “Overall, getting back into the swing of things during the regular season is something to look forward to.”

The Cards will host its regular season home opener Saturday, but for the team and the surrounding community, it will be more than just a hockey game. PSUC will be hosting a fundraising event for a close friend and member of the team for over the past twelve years, Matty Thompson, who has been fighting cancer since being diagnosed two years ago.

“The amount of strength Matty has shown during his fight against cancer has been a regular source of inspiration for the players over the past two seasons,” senior captain Patrick Hermans said in a Facebook post on the SUNY Plattsburgh men’s hockey team page. “He is genuinely a loving and compassionate person and there isn’t a friend of his who hasn’t been touched.”

Saturday will be Matty Strong Night, as the Cards will be selling wristbands and green and blue T-shirts labeled, “MATTY TOUGH” and will host a special event auction after the game to help support Matty’s fight against cancer.

“He’s a big part of the team and has always been around for everyone,” sophomore forward Nick Belger said. “No one fights alone, and it feels good to give back when someone is struggling.”

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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