Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Men’s Hockey goes 1-1 in conference play

Drew Wemple

Men’s Hockey transitioned into their conference schedule this past weekend, with two games. Friday’s match vs. Cortland ended in a thrilling 6-5 victory and Saturday’s game vs. Oswego ended in a 2-2 tie. Both games were played at home, behind a thunderous Plattsburgh fanbase.

 Starting with the game this past Friday night, the Cardinals took on the Cortland Red Dragons, in what turned into Overtime thriller. In the first period, the visitors came out strong scoring two quick goals inside the first ten minutes.However Plattsburgh’s sophomore forward Joey Mancuso scored on a power play to end the scoring in the first; assisted by Jack Ring and Luk Jirousek. 

“I think we got into the locker room and we realized that we needed to step it up and that we started off a little stale,” Macuso said, “we wanted to come out in the second two periods, kind of fighting, getting our feet moving, and  pucks to the net and things worked out.”

In the second period, the Red Dragons and Cardinals traded goals, starting with a Corland power play goal two minutes into the period to extend their lead to 3-1. However, just minutes later Mancuso responded for the Cardinals again on another power play, off an assist from Thomas Maia and Mitchell Hale. Towards the end of the period, on another Cortland powerplay to retake a two goal lead in the game. But not a minute later Mancuso tacked on his third goal of the game to pull the Cardinals back to within one, and give himself the hat trick. Yet to start the third, Cortland scored their fourth power play goal and were able to take a 5-3 lead in the game.

“I think that you have to give credit where it’s due and I think Cortland’s power play was quick and they had a couple of real good opportunities and they did capitalize,” Head Coach Stephen Moffat said, “we didn’t do a great job adjusting until you know, probably the third period, which was a little bit too late. But you know, we’ll learn from that.”

However, things weren’t too late yet, as Plattsburgh responded resoundingly with an unassisted goal from Jake Lanyi to put their deficit back at one goal. Then with around three minutes to go in regulation, sophomore forward Bennett Stockdale scored the game tying goal.

“We were closing that gap to two goal leads a couple of times there but on that one especially once that puck went in it definitely kind of gave us a second life,” Stockdale said, “Then it’s a 0-0 game and at that point whoever scores the next one is going to win.”

The game headed to overtime, in which just four minutes in, Stockdale scored his second goal of the game, off an assist from Matt Araujo and Carson Gallagher, to put the Cardinals on top by a final score of 6-5. 

“It’s an emotional win to come and score in overtime and just an exciting win, you know, the fans were pretty loud… So it was fun to win that game,” Moffat said,  “I think the guys when they got to the rink on Saturday morning were pretty excited, coming off that.”Saturday, the Cardinals took on the Oswego Lakers, seeking to build on the momentum coming from the night before. Plattsburgh found the back of the net for the first time at the 16-minute mark, when Stockdale picked up right where he left off the night before, scoring his third goal of the weekend and giving the team an early 1-0 lead. Then, two minutes later, Carson Gallgher scored on a power play for the Cardinals, off an assist from Mancuso and Jirousek, to extend their lead to 2-0. 

“I think we carried the energy that we ended the game with against Cortland. We kind of took that into the first period of the Oswego game and just kind of kept it rolling and kept that energy,” Stockdale said. “Our whole mindset was to be really focused and prepared and to come out strong in that game.”

In the second period, however, the Lakers scored on a powerplay roughly five minutes in to cut the deficit to one goal and then again at the 13-minute mark to tie the game. At the end of regulation time, the score was still deadlocked at a 2-2 tie, and the teams would head to overtime. Yet at the end of the five-minute overtime period, neither team was able to come away with the victory. 

“I came into the locker room after the game, and the guys were really down and  they were pretty disappointed that we weren’t able to get that win somehow,” Moffat said. “I think that speaks volumes of the team and where their heads are at and what their mindset is like.”

The team would end the weekend 1-0-1, but there were some positives off the ice as well. Two awards were bestowed to two of Plattsburgh State’s hockey players this past week. Bennett Stockdale was named PrestoSports Men’s Ice Hockey Player of the Week for scoring three goals, one a game winner, and tallying three points for the team.

 “Early on it’s nice to receive the recognition but it’s not the priority for sure. I’d like to stay focused on winning hockey games, but it’s definitely a huge, huge honor,” Stockdale said. “I know it sounds kind of cliche, but my line mates really helped me out on winning that one.”

The other award was given to Joey Mancuso who was named PrestoSports Men’s Ice Hockey Rookie of the week for his hat trick performance, four points, as well as his added assist. 

“It was obviously great to win that, but I think everyone really is playing well and is really adapting to everything going on and really stepping it up,” Mancuso said.

As for what’s ahead, Plattsburgh will have another two SUNYAC games this weekend, one Friday versus the no. 1 ranked SUNY Geneseo on the road, and then Saturday they head to Brockport to take on the Golden Eagles to wrap up the weekend. This will be the teams next chance to build and improve on their past solid weekend.

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