MASSENA — The Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team found itself trailing by two after one period, but a four-goal second period helped the Cardinals (2-0, 2-0) rally for a 6-4 win over Potsdam in a SUNY Athletic Conference game at Massena Arena Saturday.
The Bears (2-1, 1-1) jumped out front with just 1:14 gone in the first period with a Billy Pascalli goal. The Bears stretched the lead to 2-0 at the 9:49 mark when Kenny Simon found he back of the net for his first of the year.
“I thought we had two mental lapses off of faceoffs that cost us two goals,” Plattsburgh State head coach Bob Emery said. “(Potsdam) did a great job blocking shots and getting in front of their goalie.”
With 14 minutes left in the second period, Plattsburgh State began to dig itself out of the hole when Alex Brenton was able to deflect a puck in front of the net to cut the Bears’ lead to 2-1.
The Cardinals tied the game when Mark Constantine scored on the power-play with 11:35 gone in the second. Mike Grace took a shot from the blue line and Constantine knocked home the rebound to make it 2-2.
Plattsburgh State took its first lead of the evening when the power-play unit cashed in another opportunity with 2:53 remaining in the second period. Nick Jensen gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead with assists from Brandon Beadow and Dillan Fox.
At 18:27 of the middle period, Plattsburgh’s Max Balaban was whistled for a holding penalty to put the Cardinals down a skater. Jared Docking picked up his own pass and beat Potsdam goaltender Austin Keiser for the short-handed goal, giving Plattsburgh State a 4-2 lead after two periods of play.
“We came out opportunistic and did a good job on the power play,” Emery said. “The guys did a good job of responding. Certain players stepped-up with leadership responsibilities, but we need to be more balanced in that department.
“We came out with the 4-2 lead and committed a turnover that gave them a breakaway. We were fortunate it didn’t sting us.”
The Bears would not go down without a fight as Arnold netted an unassisted short-handed goal at 3:14 of the third to trim the Plattsburgh State lead to 4-3. The Cardinals answered back at 12:51 with the eventual game-winner by Connor Gorman but Potsdam made it interesting with a power-play goal from Trevor Cope with 1:51 remaining in regulation.
An empty-net goal by Alex Jensen at 19:15 would finally put the Bears away and give the Cardinals the 6-4 victory.
“It was a tough game, but we’ve had great teams have bad showings against Potsdam on the road,” Emery said. “We learned a lot about ourselves (Saturday night). Our leadership is good at the top, but it has to be better in the middle. We’re a work in progress.”
Plattsburgh State went 2-for-7 on the power-play and finished with 34 shots on goal. The Bears went 1-for-6 with the man advantage and took 24 shots.
Josh Leis made 20 saves to earn the win in his second-straight start for Plattsburgh State. Keiser turned away 28 of the 34 shots he faced in the loss for the Bears.
The Cardinals return home Friday for a full weekend of conference play. Plattsburgh opens the weekend on Friday with a rematch of last year’s SUNYAC semifinals against Buffalo State. The weekend wraps up with a Saturday night matchup against Fredonia State. Both games are set for 7 p.m. at the Stafford Ice Arena.
Plattsburgh 6, Potsdam 4
Score by periods:
Plattsburgh 0 4 2 — 6
Potsdam 2 0 2 — 4
First period- 1, Pots, Pascalli (Ware, Arnold), 1:14. 2, Pots, Simon (Carpenter, Riley), 9:49. Penalties- Constantine, Pots (tripping), 14:55. Cope, Pots (tripping), 17:00. Fox, Pots (tripping), 19:33.
Second period- 3, PSU, Brenton (Botting, Cassidy), 6:00. 4, PSU, Constantine ppg (Grave, Baleshta), 11:35. 5, PSU, N. Jensen ppg (Beadow, Fox), 17:07. 6, PSU, Docking (Cassidy), 18:59. Penalties- Campagna, Pots (holding), 3:38. Arnold, Pots (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:01. Balaban, PSU (interference), 9:13. Blake, Pots (holding), 11:25. Constantine, PSU (embellishment), 11:42. Ware, Pots (slashing), 11:42. Riley, Pots (interference), 16:59. Balaban, PSU (holding), 18:27.
Third period- 7, Pots, Arnold shg, 3:14. 8, PSU, Gorman (Botting, Kaye), 12:51. 9, Pots, Cope ppg (Pascalli, Waters), 18:09. 10, PSU, A. Jensen eng, 19:15. Penalties- Ware, Pots (holding), 1:40. A. Jensen, PSU (goaltender interference), 4:52. Arnold, Pots (slashing), 7:41. Grace, PSU (holding), 17:52.
Shots on goal:
Plattsburgh 9 17 8 — 34
Potsdam 8 10 6 — 24
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Leis, PSU, 24-20. Keiser, Pots, 33-28.
Powerplays (goals-opportunities): Plattsburgh, 2-7. Potsdam, 1-6.