With high expectations set to begin the season, the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team opened its campaign on the road against SUNY Canton and made sure to begin with a victory.

The Cardinals (1-0-0) defeated the Kangaroos 6-2, controlling the game throughout the night and receiving scoring contributions from five different players.

PSUC began its scoring halfway through the first period as senior forward Kevin Emmerling netted a power play goal to help the Cards jump out to a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, the Cards erupted for three more goals, as forwards Kyle Hall and Brandon O’Quinn each found the back of the net, while Emmerling scored his second power play goal of the game.

Before the final horn sounded, PSUC and Canton each found the back of the net twice in the third period.

Seniors Dillan Fox and Anthony Calabrese each tallied their first goal of the season during the period, and senior goaltender Spencer Finney secured the win, making 16 saves in the game.

PSUC head coach Bob Emery said he was glad to secure the first win of the season and wants to use the game to evaluate where the Cards currently stand, as the team always wants to improve.

“It was a good first game for us to see what we need to work on,” Emery said. “I thought we did a lot of good things well. I thought we moved the puck through the neutral zone with speed like we wanted, and we got the cycle going really well too in the offensive zone.”

Emery also noted he was pleased with the Cards’ power play, which converted three times during the game. Moving forward, he wants to see his team continue to manage the puck well, use their speed and play disciplined hockey.

PSUC will return to action when they begin SUNYAC play at home against Fredonia Friday at 7 p.m. and Buffalo State Saturday at 7 p.m., and Emery didn’t hesitate to acknowledge how much the Cards enjoy playing at home.

“We all love the atmosphere,” Emery said. “The fans will keep me here, and it’s a great place to play. The guys will definitely be excited, and if they can’t feed off the energy, they got a problem.”

As PSUC looks to take advantage of playing at the Stafford Ice Arena, the players want to make their home ice a difficult place to play for opponents and know the atmosphere will be great.

“There’s really nothing better than playing here,” senior forward Connor Gorman said. “I love playing in front of our fans. They come to every game, they are awesome to play in front of, they are passionate and they are loud. I think we need to get it done at home and show that we are pretty unbeatable when we are on our home ice.”

While the Cards are excited to be playing in Plattsburgh and want to be successful at home this season, they know the fans will play a key role and are thankful for all the support.

“I think we arguably have the best atmosphere in Division Three college hockey, which speaks a lot about our town and the support we get,” senior Kevin Emmerling said. “It makes it really hard for teams to come in here and get a win, so the atmosphere that the fans bring really helps us out, and we really appreciate it.”

Email Joey LaFranca at joseph.lafranca@cardinalpointsonline.com

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