Just like he'd done a thousand times before during his 17-seasons in Cardinal Country, Steve Moffat began his walk from the locker rooms to the bench. It may have only lasted a few seconds but it must have felt like an eternity for the PSU legend turned head coach of the upstart Castleton Spartans.
"I wouldn't be human if I didn't find it to be a little weird," Moffat said. "It was different going right under the bleachers instead of left but I'm with Castleton now."
It was a true battle of teacher versus student Saturday night. Moffat, in his first year, going toe-to-toe with his mentor, Plattsburgh State coaching legend Bob Emery, now in his 24th season.
"It was tough, Steve is like a brother to me," Emery said. "It's great to see him get a job he really wanted. I'm proud for him and I'm proud of him."
"It doesn't surprise me that when I'm on the ice, an idea or thought from Bob usually comes to my mind," Moffat said.
The game itself played out like it should on paper. The third-ranked Cardinals making easy work of the Spartans in a 6-1 win. Still, at 8-7-1, Castleton appears to be on the rise, to no suprise, of some of Moffat's biggest supporters.
"It's great to see him lead his own ship," Plattsburgh forward Dillan Fox said. "Castleton is a good team and he is only going to make them better."
"I'm good friends with most of my players and want them to succeed," Emery said. "I have no doubt Steve will do that."
From his Hall of Fame plaque to the Frozen Four banners, Steve Moffat is all over Stafford Ice Arena. However, right now the coach says there's only one place he truly wants to be; on the Castleton bench. Where the next part of his college hockey legacy is just beginning to be written.
"I learn and get better everyday," Moffat said. "I'm better now than I was in August, I'll be better in February and March, the goal is to keep moving forward."
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