Despite the respective and disparate records, Friday’s matchup between those two North Country rivals, No. 4 Plattsburgh (14-2-2, 7-0-2) and Potsdam (6-10-0, 1-6-0), looks to be something memorable.
If not because there is no love lost between the two schools, who have battled 101 times before, then because the game has been earmarked as “Military Appreciation Night.”
And with Northern New York dotted with such defense installations as Fort Drum (Watertown) and Plattsburgh AFB, there is a large measure of military to appreciate.
All veterans, active duty personnel, National Guard and reservists will receive free admission to renovated Maxcy Hall for the tilt and representatives from the Watertown Vet Center will be on hand to provide information on services provided to veterans.
Potsdam coach Chris Bernard feels that such special recognition is the least that can be done for those who sacrifice so much for their fellow Americans.
“We are sincerely grateful to all of those who have served our nation and its citizens,” said Bernard. “Their selfless commitment to protect our safety and our way of life must be considered the ultimate nobility. Therefore, we would like to, at minimal, let them know we value and appreciate them.”
The Bears have a recent history of participation with the military in general and the local ROTC in particular.
This preseason, Potsdam captains Mike Arnold, Nick Averinos and Ryan Miller took part in leadership exercises with ROTC commanders. The entire team also took part in the field obstacle course where they worked on problem solving together and the rappelling tower.
“Our experiences with the tremendous guys directing the ROTC and all that they have contributed to our program has been awesome,” added Bernard.
No. 10 Oswego continues to be led in overall scoring by freshman Kenny Neil.
Neil, the league’s reigning rookie of the week, picked up points in all three Lakers’ constests last week and now has eight goals and 13 assists. Oswego has two key SUNYAC tilts this weekend, at Fredonia and Buffalo State.
You know, as often as Plattsburgh senior Mathieu Cadieux has been honored as the SUNYAC’s goalie of the week, they might as well just name the award after him.
Cadieux, who started his career with a season at Division I Quinnipiac, has now earned league plaudits eight times over the past three years, most recently this week. Cadieux backstopped the Cardinals to two wins last week, including a 4-2 triumph over No. 5 Norwich.
Goal-scorers who can come through in the clutch are like gold, no matter where you look in hockey.
Fredonia seems to have found one such go-to guy in the form of junior sniper Stephen Castriota.
Castriota has helped fuel the Blue Devils’ recent 3-0-1 against non-conference foes by netting two game-winning tallies and setting up another. He has now garnered points in four consecutive contests.
Castriota’s most recent clutch job came on Tuesday, when he connected on a power-play with 47 seconds remaining to give Fredonia a 5-4 win over Elmira.