Two goals in the third period helped the third-ranked Plattsburgh State men's hockey team emerge with a 4-2 win over Middlebury in a hard-fought non-conference matchup Friday night at Kenyon Arena.
Plattsburgh State (14-1-2) came out strong early, holding a 6-0 shots advantage before Middlebury (6-5-2) put one on the board 7:50 into the contest. Middlebury's John Barr had a good look denied by Mathieu Cadieux with 5:00 left in the first before the Cardinals countered on the other end. Dillan Fox found Alex Jensen in a two-on-one, but a diving defensive play by Barr broke the play up.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead 17:46 into the period when Anthony Calabrese skated to the top of the zone and wristed a shot past Nick BonDurant for his first collegiate goal. Plattsburgh State went 0-3 on the power play in the first period, holding a 10-8 shots advantage and taking a 1-0 lead to the locker room at the end of the first.
Plattsburgh State made it a 2-0 game just 16 seconds into the second period with the fifth of the season from Michael Radisa. Michael Cassidy carried the puck down the right wing before centering a pass to Radisa for the quick redirect just outside the crease.
The Panthers got on the board just 2:32 later when Derek Pimentel scored his seventh of the season, burying a rebound after a shot from George Ordway had been saved. Middlebury had a great opportunity to tie the game shortly thereafter with several minutes of five-on-three power play time, but the Cardinal defense stood strong. Pimentel had a shot at his second of the period with 2:00 remaining, but missed wide left on a breakaway. The Panthers outshot their opponents 11-7 in the period, but found themselves trailing the Cardinals, 2-1.
Plattsburgh State made it a two-goal game 2:35 into the third when Connor Gorman finished in front for his fifth of the year after a lengthy rush by Rich Botting on the power play. Less than a minute later Middlebury saw Connor Frick's shot stopped, but Louis Belisle brought the Panthers within one, blasting a shot in off the pads of Cadieux from the left side.
The teams each had a failed power play before BonDurant kept the Panthers in the game with some big saves down the stretch in the third. He made a pair on Gorman with 3:00 left and then again on Alex Brenton less than a minute later.
Plattsburgh sealed the game with just over a minute left when Jensen took advantage of a turnover and scored on a breakaway with a nice backhanded move before finding an open five-hole to put his team up, 4-2. The goal was the eighth of the season for Jensen.
Middlebury finished with a slim 30-29 shots advantage in the game. Cadieux made 28 stops in the win for Plattsburgh State to improve to 13-1-2. Bondurant finished with 25 saves for the Panthers.
--- Plattsburgh Sports Information
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