“It was a year we didn’t know what to expect,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. “We had unknown goaltending and 12 freshmen. We didn’t have high expectations.”
The Cardinals lost to their arch-rivals Oswego all three times, finished second in the regular season and playoffs, but did make it to the NCAA semifinal round.
However, for Plattsburgh, that’s not enough, and Emery knows exactly what needs to be improved.
“I was happy with our goals against,” he said. “We need to get more goals for. That was the problem of last season. We couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net when we had opportunities.”
One would think with a 4.75 goals for in conference play and a 1.88 goals against, stats most teams would kill for, Emery would be satisfied. However, stats can be misleading. Plattsburgh scored a ton of goals against teams they should score a lot against; thus, the GF looks impressive. However, they struggled to score against the better teams. In all their losses, they scored no more than three goals. Overall, they were 1-0-4 in overtime games and 2-2 in one-goal games.
“The program’s goals are always the same — to win the SUNYAC and then go onto the NCAAs,” Emery said. “Personally, my goals are to try to get better every game. Sometimes, if you look at the big picture, you lose sight of the present. We need to worry about today, and not the future.”
Empty Lockers: Only three seniors were on last year’s team — the team’s third leading scorer, Andrew Wilock, fellow forward Phil Farrow, and defenseman Tom Breslin.
“They were really good hockey players, but they can be replaced,” Emery said.
The Core: Thanks to those 12 freshmen last year, and some outstanding juniors, Plattsburgh returns the meat of their team. That includes leading scorers Dylan Clarke and Eric Satim, as well as Kyle Kudroch, Dan Sliasis, and Matty MacLeod. Emery will also be looking for more production out of guys who weren’t on top of the team’s scoring.
“Chris Weiland, Jared Docking, Ian Delong — with a year under their belt, they should be able to produce a lot more,” he said.
The two goaltenders who alternated ice time return — Josh Leis and Ryan Williams.
“I didn’t have any problems with them last year,” Emery said. “It was a surprise. They should get even better.”
New Gear: “What we were looking for in our recruiting process was to score more goals,” Emery said.
Thus, he will expect Ryan Farnan, Daniel Cobb, and Nick Jensen to help produce those goals in tight games.
Barry Roytman and Brad Devereaux are two incoming defenseman and Sam Foley arrives as a third goalie.
Key Question: “Looking for balance. That’s always been the key to our success,” Emery said.
How well they are able to get that clutch goal, the one that buries the team, or the one that wins a game late or in overtime, will be the key to taking first place or looking up at Oswego again.
Mark Your Calendar Game: November 6 at Oswego.
Getting swept by Oswego in one season is not acceptable to the Cardinals’ faithful. So, what better way to get the young season underway than to reverse that trend in just the second weekend of action, on the road, and take the first step to reclaiming the SUNYAC crown.