Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Cardinals tie Brockport, remain undefeated

The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team sent 44 shots on goal Saturday against the College at Brockport, but only one found the back of the net. After 65 minutes of hockey, the Cardinals settled for a 1-1 tie with the Golden Eagles.

PSUC (3-0-1, 3-0-1) had to bounce back after falling behind in the second period to Brockport (4-1-1, 2-1-1) at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

A goal by senior right wing Ryan Kuhn was enough to knot it at one goal each.

Trailing on the scoreboard after a powerplay goal by Brockport’s junior forward Doc Gentzler, Kuhn brought the puck out of the Cards’ zone with speed, carried it all the way behind the Brockport net and snuck the puck in with the wraparound shot.

“Coach has been telling me the last couple weeks ‘take it to the net and take the D wide,’” Kuhn said. “I figured I had a chance there.”

PSUC head coach Bob Emery was quick to credit the Cards for their effort in playing the game without some key players. Senior center Cam Owens was left out of the lineup due to a head injury sustained Friday in an upset victory over No. 2 SUNY Geneseo, while senior center Cole Stallard left the game after only one shift.

“Arguably our two best forwards didn’t play,” Emery said. “But, in the back of my mind, you’ve always got to find a way. Great teams find a way to win.”

Sophomore goaltender Jimmy Poreda made 28 saves to avoid the loss.

“He definitely deserved that win,” senior forward Ross Sloan said. “He’s been our backbone these first four games, so we’ve got to put the puck in the net for him.”

On the other end of the ice, Brockport’s senior goaltender Jake Moore make 43 saves to deliver the first blemish to PSUC’s record on the season.

“It’s tough when you run into a hot goalie, but that’s no excuse,” Sloan said.

With the score tied after three periods of play, the overtime session began with some pressure from the Brockport offense — the Golden Eagles led shots on goal in the extra period 5-3 — but the Cards were able to generate multiple quality scoring chances.

The biggest chance came when a long pass, lobbed through the air from the defensive zone by senior defenseman Jakob Engvall, put Sloan in alone with only the goaltender to beat. Moore made the save on the close-range shot, and the game ended with a tie.

“Any time you get a breakaway, you’ve got to pick your head up and see where it is,” Sloan said. “I’ve got to bury that for Jimmy and for the team to get that win. It’s what every player on the ice wants: a breakaway in overtime.”

With the tie, PSUC remains atop the SUNYAC standings with a 3-0-1 record. Up next for the Cards is a trip to Maxcy Hall to take on SUNY Potsdam (3-3-0, 0-2-0) Saturday at 7 p.m.

“It’s the ‘battle of the North Country,’ and it’s the biggest game of the year for Potsdam,” Emery said. “We have to be ready for it.”

More important for Emery than being ready tactically is being ready physically. Having only one game on the weekend will be a help in that regard.

“We’ve got to heal up,” Emery said. “With no game on Friday, we’ll take a day or two off.”

Kuhn said the first step in moving on from this tie to prepare for the showdown with the Bears was to focus on the positives of the result. Among those positives was the work ethic shown on the weekend.

“I thought it was a complete effort, especially on the second night of a weekend,” Kuhn said. “Guys are banged up and tired. We emptied the tank, we just couldn’t get the pucks to go in”

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