Friday, February 26, 2010


Cardinal Points is the student-run newspaper of Plattsburgh State. Here's their analysis of Saturday's game...

Brockport hits Stafford for hockey semifinals

The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team, coming off a bye week, will take on the Brockport Golden Eagles in the SUNYAC semifinals at Stafford Ice Arena 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Cardinals (17-4-4) head into the postseason on a four-game winning streak and are ranked No. 4 in Division III. The Cardinals maintain a 7-1-1 home record, with a loss to Oswego in November and a tie against Potsdam Dec. 4 blemishing their perfect home record.

The matchup against Brockport is the third of the season. The Cards defeated the Golden Eagles, 4-1, in just the second game of the season at Stafford Ice Arena.

“Brockport is a very pesky, hard-working team,” PSUC Head Coach Bob Emery said. “I’m sure they’ll want to keep it close and pull off the victory in a low-scoring game.”

The Golden Eagles (14-11-1) come into Saturday’s game off a 3-0 shutout victory over Potsdam in the SUNYAC quarterfinals. They have won their last two games and could possibly be catching fire at the right time of the year.

Brockport’s James Cody leads the Golden Eagles in points with a 13-14-27 line for the season.

Brockport goaltender Todd Sheridan boasts a .913 save percentage with a 3.02 goals-against average.

“Brockport’s biggest strength is their goalie,” Emery said. “We need to maintain focus and play smart, especially on defense and take advantage of our chances when they arrive.”

In their first meeting of the season Oct. 31, the game went into the third period tied 1-all. The Cards finally pulled away in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals from Matt Bessing, Patrick Jobb and Kyle VanDermale to win, 4-1.

The Cards out-shot the Golden Eagles, 43-19, and went 1-for-6 on the power play.

The last time the two teams met, the Cardinals came away victorious in convincing fashion, winning 7-1 at Brockport Jan. 23. This game also saw quite a high number of penalties by both sides, with the Cards scoring two goals on the power play.

The Cards out-shot the Golden Eagles, 52-15.

Brockport Head Coach Brian Dickinson said his team can play a lot better this time around but knows it will be tough to get the upset victory.

“When they were here, we had trouble keeping up with them, which forced us into penalty trouble,” Dickinson said. “The Cardinals are a very dangerous team. They cycle the puck extremely well and are well-coached.”

But Dickinson has confidence that his team is capable of competing with the Cards.

“Staying out of the penalty box and not allowing their power play to get established will be a key to getting the win,” Dickinson said. “We will need to generate opportunities on their goaltenders and get people to the net for second and third opportunities.”

Win or lose, Dickinson is happy to see his team in this situation to begin with.

“I believe we’ve had a very successful season up to this point,” Dickinson said. “We’ve competed well within our conference and also played well in our non-league games resulting in us hosting a playoff game for the second straight year.”

Emery is pleased with where the Cards stand as they try to defend their SUNYAC Championship.

“We had a couple of ties which I believe should have been wins, but overall I’m happy with where the team is,” Emery said. “We had one of the toughest schedules in the country, and most of our top performances came on the road. With 12 freshmen on the team, we may have even overachieved a bit, but I believe the team is right where they should be.”

The winner of Saturday’s game will face the winner of the other semifinal game featuring Morrisville at Oswego for the SUNYAC championship.