PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Jake Mooney’s shot with 5:08 left in the game proved to be the final blow in a hard-fought battle as fifth-ranked Plattsburgh State defeated No. 3 Castleton 2-1 to claim the Cardinal Classic Championship on Saturday at the Stafford Ice Arena.
Castleton (11-2-0, 7-1-0 ECAC East) opened the door for Plattsburgh (8-2-3, 6-1-0 ECAC West) midway through the first period when Brad Barber received a five-minute major and a game misconduct after sending Alex Jensen into the boards with a hard hit. The call resulted in a 5-on-3 power play for the Cardinals but they could not make the most of the opportunity as the two teams played to a scoreless first period.
Plattsburgh seemed poised to take the lead early in the second period as Kyle Kudroch drilled the right post but it was the Spartans who would eventually strike first at the 11:00 mark of the second. Brett Zeggil beat Plattsburgh goaltender Mathieu Cadieux off a pass from Nick Lazorko.
With eight minutes left in the second period, Kudroch almost tied it up, hitting the crossbar this time. Plattsburgh, who outshot Castleton 20-10 in the second period, finally tied it up at 16:30 when Kyle Taylor chipped in his fourth of the year from Nick Jensen and Matt MacLeod.
Plattsburgh carried play through the third before Mooney’s slapshot at the 14:52 mark gave the Cardinals a late 2-1 lead. Vick Schlueter and Ryan Craig assisted on the game-winner.
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Plattsburgh fired 42 shots on goal while holding Castleton to 21. The Cardinals went 0-for-5 on the power play. The Spartans were 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
Mathieu Cadieux improves to 5-2-2 on the year, recording 20 saves in goal for Plattsburgh. Castleton’s Erick Cinotti, who was named Tournament Most Valuable Player, stopped 40 shots in the loss. Cinotti finished the weekend with a combined 82 saves.
Kurdroch, Paul Puglisi and Alex Jensen represented the Cardinals on the All-Tournament Team. Castleton’s Dru Douglas and Utica’s Tim Coffman were also recognized.