The North Country's newspaper, the Press-Republican, offers this analysis of last night's game..
PLATTSBURGH — For the last two decades, things have been pretty much the same this time of year in Cardinal Country.
This will be the 19th straight season the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team has reached the conference championship game, thanks to a 5-2 victory over Brockport Saturday night.
Dylan Clarke netted his second career hat trick and Matt Bessing scored twice in the semifinal win.
Brockport's James Cody cut Plattsburgh's lead to two goals just past the midway point of the third period, but Clarke iced the game with an empty-netter at 19:47 off a nice feed from Matty MacLeod.
"I saw Matty pick up the loose puck, and I just started busting," Clarke said. "(The hat trick) was a pretty good feeling, but my linemates were major contributors. It was a line hat trick."
Clarke and Bessing each scored in the first period to give Plattsburgh a two-goal advantage at the first intermission.
Clarke redirected a Ryan Corry shot from inside the blueline to go up by a score 35 seconds into the game, and Bessing roofed one over the shoulder of All-Conference goaltender Todd Sheridan at 11:41.
However, Plattsburgh hit a lull in the second period, giving up a goal by Brockport's Ryan Silveira and getting outshot 12-7.
The Cardinals had been losing the transition battle and turning the puck over in the neutral zone for much of the first half of the second period. So with the score still at 2-0, Emery called a timeout.
The break in the action did little to solve the Cardinals' problems, as Silveira found the back of the net shortly after.
"That's something we've focused on since the beginning of the season," Emery said. "I tried to correct it during the timeout, but the guys didn't listen and react. It was a waste of a timeout, I guess."
The Cardinals did, however, react in the third period.
Clarke scored his second on the power play 1:55 into the stanza, and Bessing scored less than a minute and a half later to put Plattsburgh up 4-1.
Plattsburgh goaltender Josh Leis was solid in net, stopping 24 of 26 shots.
Silveira's goal was the result of a good shot from inside the top of the right circle, and Brockport's second score got by Leis because the puck was redirected off of Cody's skate after a Tyler Davis shot.
On to Oswego
Oswego flirted with disaster Saturday night against Morrisville, falling to a 3-0 deficit early in the first period.
The Lakers, however, did manage to battle back, scoring eight of the game's next 10 goals to defeat the Mustangs, 8-5.
The Cardinals' only two conference losses this season have been against Oswego — a 5-2 defeat at home and a 3-2 decision at Oswego.
"Oswego is real good in their own barn," Clarke said. "It's going to be real tough. We've got to come to play."