Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Men prepared for championship

The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team has pushed hard all season to bring themselves to one main goal: becoming the SUNYAC champions and bringing the trophy back to PSUC.

Last weekend, the Cardinals were able to come out and beat Brockport 7-5 in a tense battle.

The game was a closely contested matchup, with the Cards coming out in the second and giving up three goals to tie the game at four apiece. Senior forward Mark Constantine said the team got too complacent going into the second period.

“We were up 4-1 and probably thought the game was over,” Constantine said.

“It would be an easy game from there on out, but obviously it was a playoff game, and they were able to come back in the second there and gave us a good game in the end there.”

In the game against Brockport, sophomore goalie Brady Rouleau let up five goals in the game. Rouleau was happy about the game from a team standpoint, but not on an individual level.

“I thought the team played unbelievable,” Rouleau said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think I played as well as I wanted to, especially for the guys, but if we can play like that this weekend, I think we can play great as long as I can hold up my end of the bargain.”

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This week the Cards used practice to make sure that every aspect of their game was sound going into the SUNYAC final against their main rival, Oswego. Rouleau said the team needs to keep working hard in practice, stay optimistic and stay hungry for the win.

Emmerling said the players are working to make sure they are doing all the little things right.

“Obviously, every team never wants to turn the puck over. You can always get better at that,” Emmerling said. “You know, just being sound in the defensive zone as well, forechecking hard and playing a full 60 minutes is definitely important as well.”

In the last matchup between PSUC and Oswego, it ended in a 3-3 tie. Emmerling said he is excited to be able to play in one of the biggest rivalries in college hockey.

“We always have good battles with those guys, so I’m sure it will be a great game,” Emmerling said. “We are going to come out as hard as we can and hopefully we get a ‘W’ on our side and everything works out for us. We are just going to control things we can control and the rest will take care of itself.”

This game, unlike the tie, will be played at the Stafford Ice Arena, the Cards home ice.

Oswego men’s head hockey coach Ed Gosek said It is the Lakers own fault they have to play at PSUC.

“We have got no one to blame but ourselves,” Gosek said. “We didn’t get the job done during the regular season to host the finals.”

Gosek also said that, coming to PSUC is special.

“It is a championship atmosphere,” Gosek said. “That’s what you want for your players, for the fans, and it will be an awesome game.”

One of the main concerns for PSUC during the Brockport game was the team thinking they won before the game ended, which they can’t do against Oswego.

“We can’t take any shift off or anything like that,” Emmerling said. “We have to play every minute hard, every shift hard, and I think the result will be good at the end of that.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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