The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team improved to a 2nd place tie overall in SUNYAC standings with Geneseo after their two wins against SUNY Cortland and Oswego State last weekend.
The Cardinals beat Cortland 4-3 Friday before upsetting the No. 2 nationally ranked Oswego team 2-1 on Saturday.
They are now unbeaten in the last eight games, including an 8-8 tie against Morrisville.
On the whole, Coach Bob Emery was happy with his team’s recent performance, and hopes they’re taking the experiences of last weekend with them.
“It took this team a long time to learn how to win,” Emery said. “I hope they are (confident) now. You have to experience winning, and we’ve had a few experiences now.”
Friday’s game was controlled more so by PSUC, who held a 38-28 shot advantage versus Cortland. The offensive charge was led by freshman forward Joe Drabin. Drabin had two goals and an assist against Cortland, with his second goal being the game winner.
Drabin himself was pleased with his own performance, but stressed that it was not what matters most.
“I was pretty happy, but I was happier overall that we got the win,” Drabin said. “I just got some good bounces and passes.”
Saturday’s game was a bit tougher for the Cards, as Oswego outshot them 37-24. The game was a tight affair, with the game winner being scored in the last minute of the game by Ayrton Valente. The game probably would have been over a lot earlier if not for the play of senior goalie Brady Rouleau.
Rouleau had a 2.00 GAA and .938 SV% over the weekend, and held Oswego, a team that averages 4.95 GPG to just one goal on the night.
Emery underscored just how important Rouleau’s play has been to the team’s success.
“In the game of hockey, it’s like your pitcher in baseball, you’re only going to be as good as your goalie,” Emery said. “He’s been playing well and we’ve been riding him. He’s given us a chance to win every night.”
Rouleau’s performance was good enough to earn him SUNYAC goalie of the week honors, but if you were to ask Rouleau about his performance you would probably get a very different response.
“It’s nice that the work is starting to pay off, but I have to give big credit to the guys,” Rouleau said. “It’s pretty much all them, to be honest, and I’m pretty grateful for how they’ve been playing.”
One area where the team did excel last weekend was on the power-play.
PSUC went 3 for 6 Friday, and then 1 for 3 Saturday, with the game winner against Cortland coming on the man-advantage.
Emery was happy with how the team’s improved power-play numbers has allowed them to win some games.
“We’re trying to get better at all facets of the game, but that was one area where we really needed to get better,” Emery said. “We needed to win some games with some power-play goals and we did that.”
The Cards now heads into the home stretch of the regular season, with three road games to finish it out. They will travel first to Potsdam this weekend, and then to Geneseo and Brockport in the coming weeks.
Both Emery and Drabin were on the same page when it comes to the team’s mindset going forward.
“We just have to take it one game at a time, and try to get all the points we can,” Drabin said.
Emery expanded a bit further on that idea.
“Win every day,” Emery said. “We have to win in practice, we have to win in the weight room, we have to win every day. We have to focus on one day at a time, focus on the process, and the results will take care of themselves.”
PSUC’s next game will be Friday, Feb. 10, at SUNY Potsdam.
Email Benjamin Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org