PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The No. 15 Plattsburgh State men's ice hockey team netted four third-period goals while overcoming a one-goal deficit to beat No. 10 and defending league champion SUNY Geneseo, 5-2, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship semifinal round. The second-seeded Cardinals improve to 16-9-1 overall while third-seeded Geneseo went to 17-7-3. Both teams' national rankings are according to the latest D3hockey.com poll.
The win advances Plattsburgh State into the SUNYAC Championship final next Saturday at 7 p.m. at top-seeded and No. 2 nationally-ranked Oswego State. The Lakers beat fourth-seeded Buffalo State College, 6-2, in the other semifinal game. This will be the 15th time since that Plattsburgh State and Oswego State have met in the final round.
Plattsburgh State sophomore Pat Egan (Rochester, N.Y./Lone Star Brahmas) scored twice and dished one assist, while classmate Ross Sloan had one goal and one assist. Senior Kyle Hall (Assiniboia, Saskatchewan/Battlefords North Stars) and freshman Joe Drabin (Rochester, N.Y./Wenatchee Wild) both scored and sophomore Cam Owens (Wilmington, Mass./Islanders Hockey Club) provided two assists while winning 13 faceoffs. Junior Ayrton Valente (Woodbridge, Ontario/Mississauga Chargers) and freshmen Evan Lindquist (Amston, Conn./Ottawa Jr. Senators) and Philip Middleton (Vail, Colo./Salmon Arm Silverbacks) each chipped in a helper. Senior Brady Rouleau (Fort Macleod, Alberta/Quinnipiac) stopped 18 shots for the win.
Rouleau picked up his 31st career win and ties Josh Leis '13 for 11th in program history. Rouleau is 31-12-3 since joining the Cardinals as a sophomore. Head coach Bob Emery also earned his 597th career coaching win. He needs just three victories to become the 12th men's ice hockey head coach across all divisions to reach the 600-win plateau.
Geneseo freshman Conlon Keenan scored twice with help from sophomore Anthony Marra and freshman Andrew Romano. Keenan was also 19-of-25 on faceoffs, while Marra won 12 draws. Senior Matt Leon collected 31 saves in net.
The teams ended the first period in a 1-1 tie as Plattsburgh State led shots, 11-6. Egan put the hosts on the board at 4:28 as he blocked a shot in his defensive zone, picked up the rebound and skated down the left side before wristing a shot into the upper right corner. Conlan buried the equalizer at 9:37 as Romano fought off a Cardinal defender before backhanding a pass to Conlan, who snapped a shot into the right side.
Conlan then deposited the go-ahead for Geneseo just 45 seconds into the second stanza. After a failed defensive zone clear, Marra picked up the loose puck and shot on Rouleau but the rebound kicked out to Conlan, who flicked the puck into the right side. The Cardinals and Knights would both log nine shots in the period.
Plattsburgh State, looking to avenge its SUNYAC Championship final loss against Geneseo last season, pumped in four third-period goals. Hall scored the tying goal at 6:36 while on the power play as he redirected Middleton's point shot. Drabin then provided the Cardinals with a 3-2 lead as he took Owens' end boards pass and shot into the right side at 15:09. Sloan scored just 21 seconds later after taking Egan's pass and beat Leon off of a rebound. Egan added an empty-net tally with 1:03 left for the fifth and final Plattsburgh State goal.