PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Wesleyan University men's ice hockey team held a commanding 42-29 advantage in shots on goal Tuesday evening, but Plattsburgh State opened the game with five unanswered goals during a 7-2 win at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Wesleyan (8-3-3, 4-2-2 NESCAC) cut the deficit to 5-2 early in the third period, but a pair of short-handed goals by Plattsburgh (9-8-0, 3-6-0 SUNYAC) iced the game.
- Plattsburgh was led by senior defenseman Ayrton Valente (one goal, two assists), sophomore defenseman Andrew Pizzo (two assists), senior forward Matt Quilty (one goal, one assist) and freshman forward Rich McCartney (one goal, one assist).
- Wesleyan tried to turn the tide late in the second period, as the visitors trimmed the hosts' lead to 5-1 on sophomore forward Tyler Wyatt's seventh goal of the season. Wyatt, who ranks second in the NESCAC with 19 points, won a faceoff in the right circle and established position in the slot. He then redirected a shot from the point by senior defenseman Marty Rubin into the left side of the net with three minutes left in the period.
- Going into the third, an early goal was exactly what Wesleyan needed, and it came to fruition at the 4:04 mark. The play developed in the left circle, as sophomore forward Spencer Fox slid a pass onto the stick of freshman defenseman Matthew Zandi in the slot, and then Zandi sent a pass toward net, which sophomore forward Walker Harris corralled and sent into the bottom left corner of the goal, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
- Plattsburgh State responded with a pair of short-handed goals. The first developed off a breakaway by Pizzo, as he sent a shot wide left off the boards, but then kept fighting for the puck, and it eventually squirted out to Valente in the left circle, and he found nylon with a bullet at the 11:25 mark. Next, junior forward Cole Stallard sprung free on a breakaway, and beat Wesleyan junior goalie George Blinick to the top-right corner with 3:55 left in regulation.
- The hosts jumped on the scoreboard 26 seconds into the game, as junior forward Cam Owens dumped a pass down to Quilty below the left circle, which required Blinick to commit over to the left side, and Quilty fired a pass across the crease onto the stick of McCartney, who took care of the rest.
- Plattsburgh extended its lead to 2-0, with freshman forward Liam Lawson putting in a rebound from point-blank range with 12:57 on the clock in the first.
- At the 13:13 mark of the first, the hosts went up 3-0 on junior forward Ross Sloan's third goal of the year. The Oakville, Ontario native sniped a shot from the left side of the zone, as it smashed into the top-right corner of the net.
- Fox nearly put Wesleyan on the board five minutes into the second, but his drive connected with the pipe.
- Quilty made it 4-0 on the power play at the 10:28 mark of the second, sending a shot from the slot off Blinick's glove into the back of the net. The hosts went up 5-0 one minute, 11 seconds later, as freshman forward Mike Falanga scored from point-blank range.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Freshman goalie Jimmy Poreda (3-4-0) was fabulous in net for Plattsburgh, totaling a game-high 40 stops, while Blinick (4-2-0) recorded 22 saves in the loss.
- Harris won 15-of-24 faceoffs for Wesleyan, while Wyatt was also strong in the circle, going 15-of-25. Sloan led the way for Plattsburgh, winning 11-of-18 draws.
- Plattsburgh, who improved to 4-0 all time against Wesleyan, went 1-for-2 on the advantage, and Wesleyan was unsuccessful during all seven of its power-play opportunities.
- Wesleyan will return to NESCAC action on Friday with a 7 p.m. battle against Connecticut College in New London, Conn., as Wesleyan will try to avenge a 5-3 season-opening loss to the Camels.