PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Plattsburgh State men's ice hockey team topped No. 10 Buffalo State College, 2-1, in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) action at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on Friday. The Cardinals, who are unbeaten in their last five contests, improve to 10-8-1 overall and 5-4-1 in the league, while the Bengals, who see their five-game winning streak snapped, are 13-4-1 and 5-3-1. Buffalo State's ranking is according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll. With Friday night's victory, Plattsburgh State secured the 900th win in program history and became just the fourth team in Division III men's ice hockey history to reach the 900-win plateau.
Plattsburgh State freshmen Joe Drabin (Rochester, N.Y./Wentachee Wild) and Brady Pfaff (South Riding, Va./Islanders Hockey Club) both scored, with junior Ayrton Valente (Woodbridge, Ontario/Mississauga Chargers) providing two assists and sophomore Gavin Yates (Plymouth, Mass./South Shore Kings) and freshman Philip Middleton (Vail, Colo./Salmon Arm Silverbacks) both dishing helpers. Sophomore Ross Sloan (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Blades) was 13-of-21 on faceoffs, while classmate Cam Owens (Wilmington, Mass./Islanders Hockey Club) won 12 draws. Senior Brady Rouleau (Fort Macleod, Alberta/Quinnipiac) stopped 22 shots for the win.
Buffalo State senior Anthony Beaumont scored with help from classmate Darren Young and freshman Roberts Smits. Senior Jake Rosen was 14-of-19 on faceoffs and classmate Mike DeLaVergne collected 33 saves in net.
The hosts held a 2-0 lead on 15 first-period shots. Pfaff opened the scoring at 6:44. Yates took a short defensive-zone pass, skated up the left side and cut to the middle before backhanding a pass to Pfaff, whose left circle shot beat DeLaVergne blocker side. With 3:25 remaining in the stanza, Buffalo State looked to equalize on junior Ryan Stayner's point-blank shot but Rouleau's mask stopped the bid. Drabin stretched the Cardinals' lead to 2-0 with 31 seconds left in the period as he took Valente's rebound and slipped home the score through DeLaVergne's legs.
Buffalo State cut the lead in half after narrowly leading second-period shots, 10-9. Bengal freshman Anthony Passero hit the top of the right post at 3:40 before junior Brody Power's point-blank wrist shot was gloved by Rouleau. The visitors finally broke through at 10:32 as Smits collected his own rebound on the right side and fed a pass up to Beaumont, whose right circle shot beat Rouleau low to the left side. Plattsburgh State nearly went up by two and Drabin almost potted his second of the game with 1:03 left in the period, but his low slot shot was gloved by DeLaVergne.
Both sides went scoreless during a hectic third period. While skating shorthanded at 5:45 of the stanza, Buffalo State senior Nick Berst darted up ice on a breakaway but his backhanded attempt was stuffed by Rouleau's left pad. Then with 5:53 and while on the power play, Beaumont ripped a shot through traffic that Rouleau snagged. Bengal senior Taylor Pryce snapped a shot off of the crossbar only 50 seconds later. DeLaVergne was pulled for the extra attacker with 1:44 remaining, but back-to-back Rouleau rejections on Smits' shots kept the visitors from pulling even.
Plattsburgh State closes out its regular-season home slate tomorrow at 4 p.m. against Fredonia. Three Plattsburgh State seniors will be recognized prior to the game as part of Senior Day.