Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Quality runs over quantity

The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team will play their last two games of the regular season this weekend, facing Oswego and Cortland. The matchup that is on everyone’s minds is the Oswego rematch, which the Cards lost earlier this season.

Freshman Matt Quilty said the seniors on the team have told everyone about what it is like to go into Oswego and play on their home ice.

“It is going to be bumping,” Quilty said. “So we don’t really need any help getting hyped for that game, but we just need to keep doing what we are doing, buying into blocking shots, forechecking hard and just playing Plattsburgh’s game and not there’s.”

Oswego is the No. 1- seeded team in the country, but Quilty said the team is no stranger to beating No. 1 teams.

The Cardinals have not allowed a goal since their loss to Geneseo Jan. 31 going 189 minutes without allowing one. Since that loss, the team has won three straight games by the scores of 6-0, 9-0 and 8-0.

Senior defender Preston Kaye said the success starts at goaltending.

“I think Brady Rouleau has stepped up, and he has been doing a really good job of being confident and seeing pucks,” Kaye said.

Quilty said that after the team lost to Geneseo on Jan. 31 they realized the rest of the season was do or die for them.

“I think everybody has bought in, and in practice, we have been working on defensive zone, and we have been working on everything we can to keep the puck out of the net,” Quilty said. “It’s a must-win for us.”

Sophomore goalie Brady Rouleau said the team can win games if they stay with its style of play.

“Just the defense blocking shots and kind of sticking to the game plan,” Rouleau said. “We just have to not waver from our game plan, be selfless and just listen to the coaches.”

Kaye said every game is important and the games are now must-win games leading into the playoffs.

Kaye said that if the team is able to stay with what head coach Bob Emery has taught them throughout the season, they should be able to be compete going into the SUNYAC tournament.

Facing Oswego will help lead the Cards into the SUNYACs. Kaye said everyone has to buy into a certain philosophy.

“Everyone on the team has to buy into the Emery philosophy of doing the little things — blocking shots, playing for 60 minutes straight, and if we do that, there is no reason we can’t come out of this weekend with two huge wins heading into the SUNYAC finals.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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