Cards zip past Morrisville
PSUC notches six goals against Mustangs
Published: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Updated: Saturday, October 27, 2012 00:10
The Plattsburgh Cardinals and the Morrisville Mustangs matched up in the Cardinals’ season opener for the second straight year Friday night, and the Cardinals would emerge victorious yet again, defeating their opponents 6-1.
It was a chippy game, with lots of pushing and shoving following a majority of the referee’s whistles. After the Cards (1-0) found themselves behind early, it would take a comeback win and a late offensive outburst to defeat the Mustangs (0-2).
Both teams created early scoring chances, combining for 23 shots-on-goal in the first period. Morrisville would jump out to the early lead on a Ryan Marcuz goal at 10:16, with Marc-Antonine Chaput earning the assist.
The lead wouldn’t last long. Plattsburgh’s first goal of the season came from Alex Jensen, firing the puck off a pass from Preston Kaye to knot up the score with 4:10 to go in the period.
The Cards continued generating lots of scoring chances in the period’s final minutes, seemingly giving them some momentum heading into the first intermission.
The second period was dominated by Plattsburgh scoring chances yet again, with the Cards outshooting the Mustangs 19 to six. However, Morrisville goalie Jakob Rasmussen proved up to the task, stopping every shot sent his way in the period.
Rasmussen’s success was short-lived.
The third period turned out to be the one where the floodgates opened and the Plattsburgh offense was finally able to capitalize on all its scoring chances. Following a boarding penalty on Morrisville’s Steve Dol at 14:35, Mike Grace would take a hard shot from the blue line to put his team ahead, 2-1.
“I was just walking the line a little bit,” Grace said. “I saw the guy wasn’t really in my shooting lane, so I figured I’d just throw one on net, see what happens. I knew we had two guys on net to their one, so I was really just shooting for the rebound but got a little fortunate there.”
Grace’s power-play goal would turn out to be the game-winner, as the Cards never looked back.
A turnover by Morrisville in front of their net allowed Connor Gorman to set up Kevin Emmerling to score his first career goal at 8:38, and the goals just kept on coming.
Grace and Alex Jensen would assist Mark Constantine on his power-play goal at 11:24 after an elbowing call on Morrisville’s Matt Scherer to put the Cards up 4-1, and Brandon Beadow, whose exhibition goal against Concordia last weekend did not count in the official statistics, would score his first career regular-season goal at 14:43 off a pass from freshman Zach Popp after Popp forced a turnover in the offensive zone. That goal would be the final shot Rasmussen saw in the game, as Morrisville lifted its goalie in favor of Christopher Azzan.
It didn’t help.
Alex Jensen would find the back of the net yet again at 16:10, with assists going to Nick Jensen and Constantine. With the score 6-1, Plattsburgh goalie Josh Leis would be lifted to get the rest of the night off, finishing his night with 21 saves. Sam Foley would come in and fend off all three Mustang shots over the final few minutes of the game.
Head coach Bob Emery was happy with the way his team played, especially with the way the team kept pressure on their opponents.
“The hardest thing to do in hockey is sustain defense for 60 minutes,” Emery said. “I thought we were on offense way more than we were on defense. I think that put less pressure on the defense.”
Following Grace’s goal, Emery called a timeout just a few minutes after, with his team leading 2-1. Looking to get a personnel change on the ice, Emery said he also made sure his team would keep their focus after taking the lead.
“I had guys on the ice that were tired, and I couldn’t get them off because there was an icing ... so I took the timeout to get fresh guys on the ice,” Emery said. “I told them not to take their foot off the gas pedal, and I thought we did a good job keeping our feet on the gas pedal.”
The team certainly responded, going on to score four goals in a span of less than eight minutes and keeping the puck primarily in the offensive zone. After a slow start, Emery thought his team did a good job keeping Morrisville at bay the rest of the way.
“They took it to us for at least the first 13 minutes,” Emery said. “After a while, we finally got through on them, and I thought we did a good job in the third period finding the back of the net. They were well-prepared for us though.”
Mathieu Cadieux was Plattsburgh’s primary goalie a year ago, but he did not play in the game and was not on the ice for the pre-game warm-ups. The team got a strong outing from Leis in Cadieux’s absence, and Emery didn’t seem too concerned about Cadieux and whatever is keeping him off the ice.
“He’s just not ready yet,” Emery said.