The Skidmore College Thoroughbreds traveled up the Northway for its first game back from the holiday break and it ran into a buzz saw.
The No. 9 Plattsburgh State Cardinals handed Skidmore a 7-1 drubbing at the Glens Falls Civic Center for Hockey Weekend in the Adirondacks. It sounds peaceful, but it was far from it for Skidmore (5-6-2).
Plattsburgh (9-4-1) jumped on Skidmore 3:05 into the game with its first power play goal off Jared Docking’s stick. Just over five minutes later, Docking scored again and in a blink it was 2-0 Cardinals. Mark Constantine added another in the first period to up the lead to 3-0.
“I think we did a great job in the offensive zone tonight,” said Plattsburgh head coach Bob Emery. “That’s where a lot of our tic-tac-toe passes were. As a coach you’re in the business of correcting mistakes.”
And to the naked eye, there weren’t many for Plattsburgh. But for Skidmore, it failed to account for bodies in front of the net and fell behind 4-0 when Andrew Smith buried his shot 3:52 into the second period.
“I think we gave up too many opportunities,” said Skidmore head coach Neil Sinclair. “We didn’t cover guys in front of the net on the power play and gave them too many second chance opportunities. I think our legs weren’t there on the back check. We weren’t aggressive enough on the fore check. We let their defensemen get going the other way without too much pressure.”
Skidmore’s Tim Colvin snuck behind the Cardinal defense at the 8:38 mark in the second period and beat Mathieu Cadieux (27 saves) to score his team’s only goal.
Plattsburgh’s Jake Mooney swiped the momentum back with a goal of his own to up the lead to 5-1. Connor Gorman and Zach Popp tallied the remaining two goals for Plattsburgh in the third period.
“I think they just out-competed and out-worked us today,” Sinclair said. “I give our guys credit for trying to fight through it. We were outworked today. We’ll be better tomorrow.”
As the game slipped away, Sinclair urged his players to learn from the experience.
“You’re just focusing on how you’re going to be better for tomorrow and your regular season when you get back to league play,” he said. “That’s the reason you play a Plattsburgh, if you’re going to win our league you’re going to have to beat Norwich. You better play other teams of that caliber.”
Skidmore enters the second half of its season on a losing note and comes away with a sense of where it wants – and needs – to be after playing a team of Plattsburgh’s pedigree.
“We’re not at that level yet,” Sinclair said. “I think the boys know that. I think coming back we had a couple days of good practice that were not enough. You watch as a coach and you know you get to a game like this and they’re going to learn. If you want to be competitive against a Norwich or a Plattsburgh you have to do to be good. There isn’t room for errors, the tempo you have to play at in those games.”
“I think this is a starting point,” he continued. “You take a look at today, the boys will look in the mirror and see that our effort wasn’t where it needs to be. Our practices aren’t where they need to be, and now they have a pretty good idea that we’ve got to be better.”
Skidmore’s Ben Freilberg had 31 saves in the loss. Skidmore hosts SUNY Potsdam at the Saratoga Springs City Rink Saturday at 4 pm.
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