The first goal of a game during a hockey match is the hardest one to get, junior forward Kevin Emmerling said, and this week the team was able to score early and hold the lead in its two wins.

This past weekend, the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team (5-0) won two games against Buffalo State and Fredonia, winning 6-1 and 4-1, respectively. Junior forward Connor Gorman, who has one goal and two assists this season, said the team did a good job retaining the lead early in both games.

“Obviously, we scored early in both games, and I think that killed the momentum for Buffalo and Fredonia,” Gorman said. “So I think that really helped us this weekend.”

The team had an easier time in the first game, coming in prepared and ready to play. Gorman said that the team played better against Buffalo State than Fredonia.

“We came into Saturday night’s game a little lackadaisical,” Gorman said.

“They took it to us hard for the first two or three minutes of the game, completely dominated us, I think they had four shots and we had zero, so I think we need to do a better job every weekend coming prepared 110 percent on Friday night and 110 percent on Saturday night.”

Head coach Bob Emery said the team had a real good energy through the whole game on Friday, but came out flat in Saturday’s game. He said his team was fortunate to get a couple of weak goals early on.

One of the Cards’ main weaknesses this season has been scoring during the power play. The team has been working hard by watching video, and assistant coach Mike Coppola has been working to improve the unit.

Emery said that everything is a work in progress. He said one of the reasons the team has been unable to score power-play goals is because of other team’s scouting to make sure they have their defense set right to stop PSUC. He said that a good penalty-kill unit has the ability to stop any opponent from scoring on the power play.

This weekend, the Cards will be facing off against Morrisville (2-2-2), who Emery said will be a pesky team to face. They are playing them both Friday and Saturday night, and Emery said it will be an interesting weekend playing the Mustangs in both games.

“We have to focus on Friday night and then see how that goes, hopefully work hard, have a lot of energy and then reevaluate after the game on Friday,” Emery said. “We will watch more of our opponent Friday night and Saturday morning because we are playing them twice.”

Morrisville is currently on a two-game winning streak after they beat Cortland twice last weekend. The Cards will have to score on Morrisville goalie Steven Dombrosky, who has 157 saves this season, second most in the SUNYACs.

Gorman said it is weird to be playing Morrisville on back-to-back nights, something he said usually happens only in junior hockey.

“They are definitely a team that is up-and-coming, so I think they are going to give it their all, like every team does,” Gorman said. “We just have to focus on Friday night first and not worry about Saturday night.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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