OSWEGO, N.Y. – Plattsburgh State men's ice hockey junior Matt Quilty (Midland, Ontario/Caledonia Corvairs) scored with 52.5 seconds left in the third period to break a late tie as the Cardinals beat No. 2 Oswego State, 2-1, in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) play at the Marano Campus Center Arena on Saturday. The Cardinals, who are now unbeaten in their last eight games, are 13-8-1 overall and 8-4-1 in the league, while the Lakers go to 16-4-1 and 11-2-1. Oswego State's ranking is according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.
With Saturday's win, Plattsburgh State earned its first victory against a top-5 nationally-ranked opponent for the first time since topping No. 4 SUNY Geneseo, 7-4, back on Nov. 8, 2014. This Cardinal senior class is also unbeaten in its four contests at Oswego State with a mark of 2-0-2.
Quilty and freshman Philip Middleton (Vail, Colo./Salmon Arm Silverbacks) scored for Plattsburgh State, with junior Ayrton Valente (Woodbridge, Ontario/Mississauga Chargers) and sophomore Cam Owens (Wilmington, Mass./Islanders Hockey Club) both providing two assists. Sophomore Ross Sloan (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Blades) was 15-of-25 on faceoffs and senior Brady Rouleau (Fort Macleod, Alberta/Quinnipiac) collected a season-high 36 saves. Rouleau and the Cardinals kept Oswego State's offense, which entered Saturday with the nation's second-highest output (4.95 goals per game), to only one goal on 37 shots.
Oswego State senior Kenny Neil scored with help from classmates Joey Davies and Matt Galati. Davies and senior Chris Waterstreet both won 11 draws. Sophomore David Jacobson made 22 stops in net.
Both sides went scoreless, with Rouleau keeping the Lakers off of the board during the hosts' 15-shot first period. Galati and Oswego State sophomore TJ Sneath both had three bids in the stanza, with Galati having the best chance at 15:04 when he crashed down the right side and snapped a quick uncontested shot that was blocked away by Rouleau. Despite being outshot, 15-6, in the first period, Plattsburgh State killed off two penalties while winning 12-of-18 faceoffs.
Rouleau again came to Plattsburgh State's rescue in the second period by stopping nine Oswego State shots. Laker freshman Jody Sullivan darted down the right side and past a Cardinal defenseman before wristing a low shot that was gobbled up by Rouleau at 3:15. Rouleau robbed Sullivan just 30 seconds later by diving across the crease to swat away a left side bid.
Plattsburgh State finally broke through with the game's first goal at 7:43 of the third period. While skating with a 5-on-3 power play, Valente fed a high-slot pass over to Owens on the right side, who one-timed a pass up to Middleton and Middleton's point shot through traffic beat Jacobson blocker side. Neil equalized with a power-play marker at 10:54 when he took a rebound off of Rouleau's left pad and stuffed home the puck into the right side. Oswego State senior Shawn Hulshof looked to pot the go-ahead goal but his wrister from the left side was picked by Rouleau with 2:08 to go. The visitors broke the 1-1 stalemate with 52.5 seconds remaining as Valente's right side tape-to-tape pass hit a crashing Quilty, whose one-touch shot sneaked through Jacobson's legs. Jacobson was pulled for the extra attacker but Oswego State's only shot with the player advantage was blocked by Middleton.
Plattsburgh State continues its regular-season-ending road stretch with a visit to SUNY Potsdam next Friday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals are currently tied with SUNY Geneseo for second in the SUNYAC regular-season standings.