Thursday, December 2, 2021

Plattsburgh Hockey returns

Drew Wemple

Plattsburgh State’s men’s and women’s hockey teams are now officially looking toward the start of the regular season. After each team played exhibition games this weekend versus St. Michaels, their attention turns toward their first seasons back on the ice in over 600 days.

The Women’s team was able to go 2-0 in their two exhibition games, beating St. Michaels Purple Knights Friday and Saturday, this past weekend. The first game took place in Colchester, Vermont, yet being on the road didn’t seem to phase the Lady Cardinals as they started their preseason with a dominant win by a score of 8-0. 

Forward Annie Katonka led the way, scoring five goals in the game, while Taylor Whitney, Lily Stumm and Bridget Orr all added goals of their own. Forward Sara Krauseneck contributed four assists and defenseman Erin Mcardle had three of her own. In goal, senior Ashley Davis had 21 saves. 

For the second game, the Lady Cardinals hosted the Purple Knights and were able to win their first game back at home in over a year and a half, 2-0. This game was played much tighter, however, critically timed goals from forward Jordan Kowalski and Krauseneck allowed for the team to sweep the home-and-home exhibition series. 

“We didn’t have as many power play opportunities as we did in the first game, but we played really well in the D-zone in the second game,” Mcardle said. “Their goalie also had 46 saves, which was really strong on her end. She played really well.”

Now, after they’ve wrapped up their strong preseason, the team will wait until Saturday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. when they take on the Cortland Red Dragons in Plattsburgh. Until then, the team will continue to prepare and improve, seeking to have another dominant regular season.

“We’re trying to figure out some lines that mesh well together and play well together and have a good connection,” Mcardle said. “Just like all around we’re working on all the different areas, getting our systems all situated before we head into the sort of real games.”

The men’s hockey team played just one exhibition game this weekend. They hosted St. Michael’s College this past Saturday at 7 p.m. and won 3-0. This win comes after their previous victory in the preseason back  Oct. 16, when they beat Castleton University 2-1. 

In the match this past weekend, the Cardinals were led by a strong first quarter, in which they got all three of their goals scored by forward Mitchell Hale, defenseman Ryan Hogg and forward Bennett Stockdale. Forwards Pavel Kharin, Joey Mancuso, Hunter Alden and Defenseman Matt Araujo all had assists. 

“For me, it was fun to play and play at home for the first time and 600 days or so,” Hale said. “It just felt nice to get out there in front of the home fans and score a goal and play well.” 

The men’s team will also be getting back to their first regular season in over 20 months, and they are excited for it. After what must’ve felt like neverending preparation is about to pay off. 

“Our coach told us to work hard this offseason over the summer and not really take it for granted,” Hale said. “We’re expecting to win a championship. We’ve got a lot of hungry guys out there.

That quest will start this weekend, as the Cardinals will take on the Plymouth State University Panthers at home this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. It will be the team’s first regular season home game since Feb 22., 2020. 

“​​It’s gonna be awesome. We got a little taste of it this preseason, there was a nice amount of people there but we’re expecting a lot of people that come out this weekend,” Forward Joe Kile said, “There’s nothing like playing in front of fans. It’s always a good time. You know, just to have that energy in the building, we’re all really excited for it.”

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