No. 9 Plattsburgh State closes regular season with win vs. No. 2 Oswego State
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Kevin Emmerling scored a pair of goals to help lift No. 9 Plattsburgh State to a 4-3 victory against No. 2 Oswego State on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 2,087 at the Stafford Ice Arena.
With the win, the Cardinals wrap up the regular-season with an 18-6-1 record overall and a 13-2-1 mark in SUNYAC play. Plattsburgh State enters the conference playoffs as the second seed, finishing with 27 points.
Oswego State, which fell to 21-4-0 overall and 14-2-0 in the SUNYAC, will have home ice throughout the playoffs as the top seed with 28 points.
The special teams played a crucial role for both squads with the Lakers drawing first blood on a power-play goal at 14:42 of the first period by Bobby Gertsakis. Gertsakis took a centering pass from Paul Rodrigues and put it right between the legs of Plattsburgh goaltender Mathieu Cadieux to give Oswego State a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals evened the score with 2:11 remaining in the first on Mark Constantine’s power-play goal that sailed through the screen and over the glove side of Oswego State goalie Andrew Hare.
Plattsburgh struck again on the power play at 14:01 with Emmerling’s first of the night. Dillan Fox ripped a shot from the top of the slot that drilled Hare in the facemask before Emmerling buried the rebound to put the Cardinals up 2-1.
The Lakers knotted the score again at the 17:26 mark of the middle stanza when Matt Singleton was able to get the puck away from a Plattsburgh defender for a short-handed breakaway. Cadieux came out of the net and knocked the puck away from Singleton but Plattsburgh failed to clear the loose puck and David Titanic was right there to fire it into the net for Oswego.
Oswego’s momentum was short-lived as the Cardinals answered right back at 18:39 to regain the lead. Nick Jensen’s shot got a piece of Hare before trickling in the net to give Plattsburgh a 3-2 lead to close out the second period. Jared Docking and Fox picked up assists on the first even-strength goal of the game.
Emmerling scored his second of the game at 7:45 of the third period for the eventual game-winning goal. The Lakers gave the puck away behind their own net and Connor Gorman was there to intercept and bring the puck around front to find Emmerling. Hare was able to make the initial stop on the shot but the Cardinals’ leading goal-scorer poked in his own rebound for his 14th of the year.
Back-to-back penalties on the Cardinals made things interesting midway through the third. With Plattsburgh State down two skaters, the Lakers executed a perfect tic-tac-toe to come within one at 10:52 on a goal by Luke Moodie. Jon Whitelaw and Rodrigues added assists but that was as close as the Lakers would come.
Plattsburgh held a 35-29 advantage in shots on goal. Both goaltenders came up with some big saves: Cadieux finished with 26 saves to improve to 14-6-1; Hare (17-4-0) stopped 31 shots for the Lakers.
The win marks the first for the Cardinals at home against the Lakers since March 7, 2009. The Cardinals also recognized seniors Patrick Jobb, Mike Grace, Josh Leis, Paul Puglisi and Docking in a brief ceremony prior to Saturday’s game.
Both Plattsburgh and Oswego will receive first-round byes in the SUNYAC postseason. No. 3 Geneseo will play host to No. 6 Potsdam on Wednesday in the SUNYAC quarterfinals while No. 4 Buffalo State will play host to No. 5 Fredonia. Oswego will play host to the lowest remaining seed on Feb. 23 and Plattsburgh will play host to the second-lowest remaining seed.