Sunday, March 7, 2021

Moffat earns first conference win as new head coach

The SUNY Plattsburgh men’s ice hockey team lost to Oswego State 3-0 and bounced back with a win against SUNY Cortland 4-1.

The Cardinals earned their first SUNYAC win of the season, which was also head coach Steven Moffat’s first career win as the new head coach for the team.

“A win at any time is good. The players are happy. The coaches are happy. It creates a good vibe for the team,” Moffat said. “The trick is to continue winning and to be successful.”

Junior goaltender Jimmy Poreda was named PrestoSports SUNYAC Men’s Ice Hockey Goaltender of the Week for the first time this season. It is the sixth time Poreda was selected for the award overall.

Plattsburgh State is currently ranked sixth out of nine teams in the SUNYAC after the win against Cortland.

For the first period against the Lakers, the Cards were able to kill off two penalties and kept the game scoreless. However, the Lakers scored the first goal at 9:04 and scored again two minutes later.

The Lakers then scored at the end of the second period, which brought the score to 3-0.

In the third period, SUNY Plattsburgh had a better showing where they held a 15-8 edge in shots on goal. However, the Cards weren’t able to solve the Oswego State’s goaltender David Richer and lost the game.

Assistant coach Reid Lesswing said the team did not have the same energy as usual, which shone through the game against the Lakers.

He also said it’s unfortunate to lose against the Lakers, but the team bounced back in the game against Cortland. Lesswing said the win against Cortland definitely boosted the team’s morale.

After the scoreless first period, Plattsburgh State took the lead with three goals in the second period. Freshman forward Adam Tretowicz scored the first goal of the night at 2:19.

The second goal was scored by freshman forward Joe Kile at 4:11, and it was his first collegiate goal. Junior forward Liam Lawson scored the third goal of the second period at the 15:48 mark.

In the third period, Cortland fought back and scored a goal at 15:02. The Cards would not let Cortland get close to their score as freshman forward Brendan Young made it 4-1  with his first career goal at 18:06, giving SUNY Plattsburgh its first conference win.

Moffat said the team was happy about the win and the energy was carried over to this week’s practice. The team is excited to play in front of their family and friends this weekend.

“We want them to roll that [energy] to this week’s practice and perform in the games this week,” Lesswing said.

Lesswing started his career as an assistant coach this season and he has been welcomed by the team with open arms. He said the history of the ice hockey program in Plattsburgh has a rich history and that attracted him to join the program.

Lesswing assisted at his alma mater, Castleton, from 2016-18. He helped the Spartans earn a 11-10-6 overall mark and advanced to the New England Hockey Conference tournament semifinals.

He later on spent 2018 to 2019 as an assistant coach for Fredonia, where he helped the Blue Devils achieve a 15-8-4 overall record and the No. 5 seed in the SUNYAC tournament.

Lesswing was actually a student-athlete under Moffat when Moffat coached the ice hockey team at Castleton University. He admires the coaching style of Moffat and his knowledge of hockey.

“Working with Reid individually and in-group has been great. He has really become part of the team,” Moffat said.

Lesswing was recruited by Moffat and he jumped right into the job. He expects to work with the coaches to bring the team to a new height.

“We’re expecting to win [the tournament], but it’s important to focus on one game at a time,” Lesswing said.

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