This article ran in today's Press Republican, the North Country's newspaper...
Emery wary of Brockport
PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team's 22-1-2 overall record, 15-0-1 mark in State University of New York Athletic Conference regular season play and a current No. 1 Division III ranking in the country is all impressive to say the least.
But, starting tonight, games take on new meaning for the Cardinals.
Plattsburgh State opens up defense of its SUNYAC Tournament title when it hosts Brockport in semifinal action at 7 p.m. at the Stafford Ice Arena.
"It's one and done now," said Plattsburgh State head coach Bob Emery. "Come playoff time, anyone can win. The harder games to win are sometimes the ones you're supposed to win. Brockport is coming in with everything to gain and nothing to lose."
The fourth-seeded Golden Eagles (14-9-3 overall) are coming off Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over Potsdam in the SUNYAC Tournament quarterfinals where goaltender Todd Sheridan came up big, stopping 43 of 44 Bears' shots. Sheridan, a junior, sports a 10-3-3 record with a 2.37 goals-against average.
"As a coach, you want to go into every game playing your style of hockey," Emery said. "We have to go into a game prepared to win, 1-0, if we have to, and the Brockport game is no different. We will still play our offensive style of hockey where we will try and wear our opponents down by skating four lines and six defensemen."
Leading Brockport in scoring are freshman forward James Cody (10-12-22), junior center Sean O'Malley (5-17-22), senior forward Dave McNab (11-10-21) and senior forward Tim Crowley (8-12-20).
"Brockport has to be feeling good about themselves," Emery said. "Their coach (Brian Dickinson) has done a great job and they've had to work hard for everything. If I was their coach, I would be proud because this is the best season they've ever had."
Brockport has outscored opponents by a 93-83 margin.
"Our last loss was to Skidmore and Brockport is a better team than Skidmore," Emery said.
The Cardinals' last game was a 6-1 road victory over Cortland this past Saturday. Plattsburgh State enters the SUNYAC Tournament riding a 10-game winnning streak.
"I constantly remind our team that defense wins," said Emery. "And, hard work will beat skill because skill doesn't work hard. We have to stay in shape day in and day out, have to win in practices, in warm-ups and watch video so we can improve and get better all the time."
Plattsburgh State, which has outscored its opponents by a 119-43 margin, is led by sophomore goaltender Bryan Hince (20-1-2, 1.68 gaa).
The Cardinals have seven players with 20 points or more, including sophomore forward Dylan Clarke (15-23-38), senior forward Joey Wilson (21-13-34), junior forward Phil Farrow (10-23-33), senior forward Riley Hill (12-16-28), sophomore forward Eric Satim (11-17-28), senior defenseman Nick Rolls (5-21-26) and sophomore defenseman Ryan Corry (4-16-20).
"Everyone should be available to play," Emery said.
The Cardinals skated to a 5-0 win at Brockport on Nov. 14 and then had a tougher time in a 4-2 victory at the Stafford Ice Arena on Februay 6.
Tonight's other SUNYAC Tournament semifinal has second-seeded Oswego hosting third-seeded Geneseo. The Knights advanced with a 4-3 overtime win over Buffalo State.