Special to the OBSERVER
PLATTSBURGH - Fredonia State was unable to slow down No. 4 ranked Plattsburgh in SUNYAC men's hockey Saturday night.
The Blue Devils' defensive style was no match for the Cardinals, who improved to 4-0 with a 5-0 home win before a sellout crowd of 2,053 at the Stafford Ice Arena.
"They're good," Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said of Plattsburgh. "You've got to go in there and you can't give them anything. We came out and on the first shift of the second period, we turned the puck over when we shouldn't have and it was 2-0 real quick."
The Blue Devils fell to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the SUNYAC.
Kevin Emmerling scored three goals - one in each period - and Mathew Cadiuex made 22 saves to earn the shutout.
Alex Brenton and Nick Jensen each had one goal for Plattsburgh, which outshot the Blue Devils, 36-22. Fredonia State junior goaltender Mark Friesen made 31 saves.
The Blue Devils entered the game on a three-game winning streak on the strength of solid defense in front of Friesen. They allowed two goals during the streak. They got away from their gameplan during the first period Saturday. Plattsburgh possessed the puck for long stretches, including two full minutes of offensive-zone time on its one power-play chance of the period.
Emmerling gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead at 11:33 with a backhander into the open side of the net. The puck came to him off a deflection of a shot from the opposite wing. Friesen had moved left on the first shot and was unable to slide back to his left in time to stop Emmerling's shot.
"We had an interesting morning," Meredith noted. "We had Basil McRae, who played for the (Minnesota) North Stars - he was at the same hotel we were to watch his daughter's team - and we had the chance to meet him and he stuck around for the team meeting.
"The one quote that I took away was he said, 'Any time you think you have it bad, open the newspaper and you'll see that you don't really have it that bad."
Plattsburgh scored both early and often in the second period. First, Brenton scored from point-blank range 11 seconds into the period. Emmerling scored his second goal of the night on a power-play to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle. Nick Jensen then connected from the top of the circle and it was 4-0 Plattsburgh.
"You can't have self-inflicted wounds," Meredith said. "I thought we played a little better in the third and I think we can take some positives out of it into next weekend. We have a big weekend next week having to play at Oswego and Cortland."
Emmerling completed his hat trick at 7:05 of the third period. He skated away from the halfboards and curled through defenders before wristing a shot over Friesen's shoulder.
The Blue Devils are back on the SUNYAC road next weekend with stops at Cortland and Oswego.
Women's Cross Country
Women improve by five spots at Atlantic Regional
ROCHESTER - The Fredonia State women finished five places better than last year at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional cross country championship meet.
The Blue Devils finished 15th Saturday at the 2012 race, held at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester. They were 20th at the 2011 race held at St. Lawrence.
The five top Blue Devils were separated by 48 seconds, led by junior Kim Foltz, with a 6,000-meter time of 23:31.5. Foltz finished 59th overall in a field of 277 women representing 46 schools.
The next four finishers, in order, were junior Leslie Beaton (Bemus Point), sophomore Amanda Cocchiara, junior Alissa Conti (Fredonia) and junior Becca List. They ran an average time of 23:59.5.
The displacing runners were junior Anna Hourihan and senior Kateri Walsh.
Men's Cross Country
Hess 12th at Regional, bound for NCAA D-III meet
ROCHESTER - Fredonia State sophomore Zakk Hess finished 12th Saturday at the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional men's cross country race and earned his first trip to the NCAA Division III championships.
Hess started off quickly and was second at the 2,000-meter mark in 6:14.2 on the Genesee Valley Park course. He dropped back to 12th after 4,000 meters (12:47.6), and was 14th after 6,000 meters (19:28.9) before rallying and moving up two spots in the final 2,000 meters.
He crossed the finish line in 25:51.2 for the complete 8,000 meters. He will be running the same distance next Saturday when runners from around the country convene at Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA D-III championship meet.
Following Hess across the line were junior Steve Whittemore, freshman Collin Mulcahy, senior Pete Francia and junior Jake Krautwarst among the next four scorers; and freshman Kyle Collins and senior Jack Bennett as the displacers.
The top-five Blue Devils were separated by 2:00.2 and had an average time of 26:57.1 for 8,000 meters. They finished 13th out of the 44 full teams participating. A total of 297 men completed the course.