If you look at all the teams that are winning in sports, you can see a pattern: good team chemistry.

The team chemistry for the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team has helped lead them to another strong start to the season. This chemistry isn’t built in a day, but by hard work and understanding between teammates over an extended period of time.

At the beginning of the season, the Cardinals did team-bonding exercises playing football, soccer, baseball and basketball. These activities helped bring the team together as a unit.

Senior forward Alex Brenton said a huge advantage this team has is a big group of upperclassmen. Brenton said the team has a strong core of seniors and juniors who help bring the underclassmen, which helps build the team’s chemistry.

Senior forward Preston Kaye said the team has the advantage of having anyone being able to step up anytime.

“I think our leaders are doing a good job allowing everyone to step up when the time is appropriate, not just our seniors and juniors, but our freshmen and sophomores as well. Everyone has been able to step up,” Kaye said. “I think moving forward, that’s huge for a team to be able to get contributions from everyone.”

Even with the chemistry the team has built, bringing them to an 8-1 start, junior forward Rich Botting said he believes the team still has room to grow.

He said building chemistry brings tension between teammates, on the ice and in the locker room, so the chemistry still has kinks to be worked out.

Botting said some things bring the team closer together, such as getting a big win and going out and having a good night after having a hard practice where head coach Bob Emery is hard on them.

The second semester will give the team more room to grow and come together as a team. Brenton said that while every other student is home in January, the team will still be here.

“That is when we really bond — we get some card games in, we go out and do a team bowling event, we are eating every meal together, all three meals of the day,” Brenton said. “So we are always around each other and building really good team chemistry.”

With this team, there is no one clear-cut leader, Brenton said. Brandon Beadow is the captain of the team and some might say he is the leader, but while that is true, Brenton said the team has a different mindset. The team has the mantra of leaders leading leaders, meaning everyone on the team is equally in charge.

Team chemistry has always been one of the reasons behind why the Cards are able to win games, Brenton said, and it is a key to the team’s success and making it far into the playoffs.

Kaye said the team has had a strong start to the season, building from the fall until now.

“Working out together, spending time together, and it has pretty much led us into the season and working hard and earning those eight wins is something we have done a good job of,” Kaye said. “You have to work hard off the ice to get good results on the ice.”

Email Nick Topping at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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