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College Hockey:
SUNYAC wrap: Feb. 27

Plattsburgh survives a marathon
111 minutes, seven seconds of hockey. Four hours, ten minutes long. Over five-and-a-half periods. 112 total shots. The longest game in SUNYAC history. The second longest game in Division III history.

Mark Constantine finally ended it at 11:07 of triple overtime to send Plattsburgh to the SUNYAC championship game with a 4-3 win over Buffalo State. The Cardinals will travel to Oswego for next Saturday’s final, the 12th time these teams decide the title.

The irony of this marathon event is overtime never should have been needed. Plattsburgh had 2-0 and 3-1 leads, the latter in the third period, which they could not hold onto.

“From a coaching standpoint, we’ve gotta learn from our mistakes,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said to the Press-Republican. “We can’t lack poise at the end of the game and give up the lead.”

After a scoreless first period, Jake Mooney (power play) on a one-timer and Jared Docking off a rebound gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. Drew Klin got one back. Patrick Jobb put Plattsburgh up by two off a faceoff, heading into what everyone thought would be the final period.

However, Kyle Whipple scored at 13:21, banking one off the crossbar, and Mike Zannella tied it with an extra attacker, flipping a loose puck over the goalie with 1:27 left.

Thus, overtime beckoned. Docking had a clean breakaway but could not convert. Thus another overtime beckoned. Buffalo State was clearly tiring out at this point, as Plattsburgh had a 14-3 shot advantage, but Kevin Carr stopped them all. Therefore another overtime beckoned.

Then, Constantine finally ended it top shelf.

“That was a big-time goal-scorer’s goal,” Emery said. “It was a scissor pass off the wall, and he took it to their net and put it upstairs. He’s one of our most skilled guys, and that was a goal-scorer’s goal for sure.”

“Thank God,” Constantine said. “It was a long game there.”

Mathieu Cadieux got 38 saves in the win. Carr wound up with 67 saves, tying a school record.

Buffalo State (13-12-2) ends its season with the most wins in team history and first advancement in the playoffs.

But that 12th loss after a long, long night will live with them for a long time.

Oswego cruises
Bryan Ross scored on a penalty shot in the first period to give Fredonia the initial lead. At that point, many Oswego fans probably had thoughts of deja vu, as they expected the Blue Devils to pack it in down low and grind another win away from Oswego.

However, Oswego responded, or more like exploded, en route to an 8-3 win. Jon Whitelaw and Zach Josepher scored 12 seconds apart starting at 18:01, and Paul Rodrigues scored the back-breaker at 1:02 of the second for three goals in 3:01 span, the first and third on the power play.

“We took the penalty at the end of the first,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “Now we’re staring down the barrel. We’ve got to kill off the penalty to start the second. Boom! Goal. That’s probably the goal that was the turning point.”

“I thought we were getting a lot of opportunities, but nothing to show for it,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said. “Those two [first period] goals for us, it was almost like a huge weight lifted off our chests with the way it has gone with Fredonia.”

Chris Brown, Ian Boots, and Rodrigues again made it 6-1 before Fredonia finally got one back before the end of the second period by Brett Mueller. Stephen Castriota got another one for Fredonia before Boots and Hank Van Boxmeer finished the Blue Devils off.

The Lakers went four-for-seven on the power play. They outshot Fredonia, 51-20, chasing Mark Friesen after the last goal.

In the understatement of the year, Meredith said, “It didn’t go the way we wanted.”

Fredonia ends its season at 12-11-3.

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