Three goals in the first period would be all the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team would need as the Cardinals claimed their fourth PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut title in a 3-1 victory over the Middlebury Panthers.
With the win, nationally-ranked No. 3 Plattsburgh State improves to 8-0-1 on the year. No. 15 Middlebury drops to 3-1-2 overall.
Connor Gorman gave the Cardinals a quick 1-0 lead on a shot from the left circle at the 3:29 mark of the first period. Kevin Emmerling and Luke Baleshta provided the set-up for Gorman's fourth of the season.
Just over two minutes later, Kyle Hall's shot was stopped by Middlebury goaltender Mike Peters but Dakota Mason knocked home the rebound at 5:37 to put Plattsburgh State up by two.
The Cardinals added to the lead with 1:01 left in the opening period when Michael Radisa took a pass from Rich Botting and beat Peters through the five-hole to make it 3-0 in favor of the home team.
Plattsburgh State's third goal signaled the end of Peters' night. Peters made five saves for the Panthers in the loss. Nick BonDurant went the rest of the way between the Middlebury pipes, making 18 stops.
The Panthers had a chance to chip away at the deficit early in the second with a 5-on-3 but Evan Neugold's shot off the post was the best of Middlebury's chances during the power-play opportunity.
A flashy goal from Louis Belisle at 11:12 of the third allowed Middlebury to finally break through the Cardinals' defense. Belisle went coast-to-coast before toe dragging around a defender and firing a shot past Plattsburgh State goaltender Mathieu Cadieux for the Panthers' lone goal of the evening.
The Cardinals finished the night with a slight 26-21 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Cadieux was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player after stopping 20 shots in the championship game. The Cardinals' senior goaltender recorded a combined 39 saves on the weekend.
In addition to Michael Radisa and Barry Roytman of Plattsburgh State, Middlebury's Brendan McGovern and Louis Belisle and Wisconsin Superior's Pat Dalbec were selected to the All-Tournament Team. Cardinals' defenseman Patrick Hermans was named the Outstanding Rookie of the 2013 PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut.
In Saturday's consolation game, Wisconsin-Superior defeated No. 2 Norwich, 3-0, to become the first invitational team to earn a victory at the tournament. Senior forward Pat Dalbec scored a pair of goals while junior goaltender Dayn Belfour recorded 27 saves in the Yellowjackets' victory.
Saturday's win marks the fourth time the Cardinals have won the prestigious tournament. Plattsburgh State's last tournament crown came in 2010 while all four PrimeLink titles have come when the Cardinals have served as the host institutions.
The Cardinals close out the first semester with a pair of conference games on the road next weekend. Plattsburgh State travels to Cortland Friday night before meeting the Lakers of Oswego State on Saturday. Both games are set for 7 p.m.
Earlier in the day, The Norwich University men's ice hockey team's offense continued to be snake bitten offensively on Saturday afternoon in a 3-0 loss to UW-Superior in the 2013 PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut consolation game.
UW-Superior's Pat Dalbec scored twice for the Yellowjackets (4-5-0, 0-0-0 WIAC) as they became the first team from the West Region to win a game at the PrimeLink Tournament. Coming into Saturday's game, the West was 0-11.
Norwich (5-1-2, 4-0-1 ECAC East) was shutout for the first time since Feb. 28, 2009 when the Cadets fell 1-0 to UMass-Boston in the ECAC East Tournament Quarterfinals. Norwich also finished fourth for just the third time in 16-year history of the tournament and the first time since 2005.
Despite outshooting UW-Superior 27-19, the Cadets couldn't solve Superior junior goalie Dayn Belfour, son of legendary Chicago Blackhawks/Dallas Stars goalie Ed Belfour. Belfour stopped all 27 shots he faced.
Norwich junior goalie Matic Marinsek (Ljubljana, Slovenia) made 16 saves for the Cadets to fall to 4-1-2 on the season.
Dalbec gave Superior the lead that it would never relinquish at the 18:30 mark of the first period, cashing in a 5x3 power play opportunity to put the Yellowjackets up 1-0. Dalbec took a shot from the high slot that bounced off traffic in front of the net and crept over the goal line just inside the right post.
Superior extended its lead at the 12:53 mark of the third period when Cody Hotchkin one-timed a shot from the high slot on a drop pass from Michael Rey that went bar down over the glove of Marinsek and put the Yellowjackets up 2-0. Belfour also picked up an assist on the goal.
Dalbec capped the scoring with an empty-net goal from center ice to make it 3-0 UW-Superior for his second of the night and the fifth of the season.
Norwich will look to break out of its recent funk of just one win in its last four next weekend when it returns home to the friendly confines of Kreitzberg Arena to host Skidmore and Castleton in two ECAC East league contests.
Saturday's game marked the first time Norwich and UW-Superior had met since the 2002 NCAA Division III National Championship game when Superior beat Norwich 3-2 in overtime to claim its first national championship.
Courtesy- Plattsburgh & Norwich Athletic Departments
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