The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team kept its playoff hopes alive last weekend, getting the big win over SUNY Geneseo in the SUNYAC semifinals.
The Cardinals trailed 2-1 into the third period, before roaring out with a flurry of four goals to win the game 5-2
Head coach Bob Emery said that despite the team being down, there was never too much worry in the locker room.
“I just told the guys between the second and third periods that I thought we were playing well,” Emery said. “I thought we outplayed them at the end of the second, and I told them we just needed to build from that.”
And build on that they did, with senior forward Kyle Hall netting the tying goal on the powerplay about six and a half minutes into the third, and later in the period getting goals from freshman forward Joe Drabin and Ross Sloan 21 seconds apart. The fifth goal was an empty-netter from sophomore forward Pat Egan, who had opened the scoring with PSUC’s first goal.
On the whole, the night saw three Cards have multiple points, with Egan scoring twice and assisting on one, Sloan scoring once and also grabbing a helper, and sophomore forward Cam Owens assisting on two goals.
Senior goalie Brady Rouleau stopped 18 shots to get his 12th win of the season.
For returning players like Egan, beating Geneseo did come along with a little something extra.
Geneseo was the team that ended PSUC’s season last year with a 7-1 blowout in the SUNYAC Championship game. So, then, being on the other side this time was rather nice.
“I think everyone that was on the team last year still had it in the back of their minds,” Egan said. “We definitely didn’t want our season to end that way again, so getting the win against them was a little bit sweeter than against another team.”
Sloan felt a bit differently on the subject of payback, however.
“You could say that (it was payback), but we’re focused on this year,” Sloan said. “They’re a great team and they work hard. Last year is last year, we were just focusing on the game. It didn’t really cross my mind to be honest.”
Even though they didn’t quite agree on the feel of the game, Egan and Sloan seemed to be meshing pretty well during it. They each assisted each other on their goals, the final two cards goals of the game, after their line had been looking hot all night.
“Our line played great the whole game,” Egan said. “Sloan had a goal and assist too, but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to produce like that so it was good to get the monkey off my back.”
It certainly was a good time for Egan, and the whole team, to start converting. The Cards held a slight edge in shots after two periods, up 20-15, but then came out to overwhelm the Knights with a shot advantage of 16-5. Emery was pleased with how his team stepped up when they needed to most, and still had energy left in the tank to finish it off.
“We got some key goals, but I also think we were the in better shape team,” Emery said. “We really took it to them in the third period. Obviously the tying goal was big, and gave us momentum, and we built off that to get two more and then the empty-netter.”
Now that the semi-final game is behind them, PSUC moves on to the SUNYAC Championship game where it won’t get any easier.
The Cards will face the No. 2 nationally ranked Oswego team Saturday. PSUC has won and lost a game in the two prior meetings against the Lakers this year.
For Sloan, a big game against a rival like Oswego will be a fun game to get up for, but one they’ll still need to stay focused for.
“They’re obviously a really good team, and it’s a great rivalry,” Sloan said. “Their atmosphere (in the rink) is going to be going, so we have to stay focused and still to our game-plan, and I think we’ll be alright.”
Email Ben Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org