By COURTNEY LEWIS
---- — PLATTSBURGH — The transition to college hockey seems to be going pretty smoothly for Kevin Emmerling.
The Plattsburgh State freshman had a goal in each of his first two games, and then he recorded a hat trick Saturday night.
Emmerling scored once in each period as the Cardinals defeated Fredonia 5-0 in a SUNY Athletic Conference men’s hockey game at Stafford Ice Arena.
The Northbridge, Mass. native now leads the team with five goals.
“It’s been going really well,” Emmerling said. “The guys were really welcoming when we first got here, and it’s been easy so far. We have a great team, so it’s been good.”
For the first time this season, Plattsburgh took an early lead and maintained it for the whole game. Emmerling scored on a rebound from the left side 11:33 into the game. He almost got another goal later in the period when his shot clanged off the left post.
The fourth-ranked Cardinals (4-0, 4-0) held a 14-6 advantage in shots in the period, although coach Bob Emery still wasn’t satisfied with the way they started the game.
“I didn’t think we came out with a lot of emotion in the first period. I’m beginning to find out we’re not an emotional team,” Emery said. “I thought we needed to get more jump coming out of the locker room.
“In the second period, Coach (Steve) Moffat made a line change to put all the emotional guys on one line, and we got a goal right off. That really helped us out — a smart move on his part.”
Alex Brenton scored that goal on an assist from Jared Docking just 11 seconds into the second. Then Emmerling notched his second of the night by lifting the puck high from the left circle for a power-play goal at 6:44.
It was Plattsburgh’s fourth power-play goal of the weekend.
“Special teams are a big part of the game. If you get a chance to be on the power play, you just have to capitalize,” Emmerling said. “And we’ve been doing a good job. We’ve been working on it in practice. It’s been a good team effort all around.”
Nick Jensen made it 4-0 with a laser from above the left circle at 9:41, and Fredonia called timeout.
The Blue Devils (4-3, 3-2) had a chance when Will McLaughlin came in on a breakaway, but Mathieu Cadieux stopped the low shot, leaving McLaughlin to bang his stick on the ice in frustration.
Emmerling earned the hat trick 7:05 into the third on a shot from the point.
Cadieux made his second straight start in the Plattsburgh net and stopped 22 shots for the Cardinals’ first shutout of the season.
“I thought we got good goaltending tonight,” Emery said. “We didn’t play a consistent 60 minutes, but when we didn’t play a consistent 60 minutes, Chewy was there to answer the bell that way.
“I thought we were opportunistic at times when we did a good job putting pucks away.”
Jensen finished with a goal and an assist, and Docking had two helpers.
Mark Friesen had 31 saves for Fredonia.
Plattsburgh 5, Fredonia 0
Fredonia 0 0 0 — 0
Plattsburgh 1 3 1 — 5
First period- 1, PSU, Emmerling (Baleshta, Roytman), 11:33. Penalties: Gorman, PSU (hooking), 7:54. Cosgrove, Fred (hooking), 13:03.
Second period- 2, PSU, Brenton (Docking), 0:11. 3, PSU, Emmerling (N. Jensen, Docking), 6:44 (pp). 4, PSU, N. Jensen, 9:41. Penalties: Mueller, Fred (boarding), 4:54. Hehr, Fred (tripping), 15:54. Kaufmann, Fred (roughing), 20:00. Calabrese, PSU (embellishment), 20:00.
Third period- 5, PSU, Emmerling, 7:05. Penalties: Docking, PSU (boarding), 7:24.
Shots on goal:
Fredonia 6 9 7 — 22
Plattsburgh 14 18 4 — 36
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Friesen, Fred, 36-31. Cadieux, PSU, 22-22.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Fredonia 0-2; Plattsburgh 1-3.
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