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Plattsburgh-Potsdam weekend at Steele Hall
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- The Fredonia State hockey team will kickoff this year’s SUNYAC campaign hosting Plattsburgh in the Steele Hall Ice Arena Friday evening.
“We do not get the luxury of opening against a lesser opponent, we will play one of the best teams right from the get-go,” Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said.
Plattsburgh, picked as the No. 2 team in the pre-season SUNYAC Coaches Poll, comes in off a close 5-3 loss to the USA Under 18 National Team in an exhibition game – a team Meredith is quick to point out beat Division I Clarkson.
The Blue Devils should have the advantage of an energetic home crowd, something that coach Meredith believes can be a huge advantage.
“Winning your games at home is enormous,” he said. “Everyone in our league has a big advantage at home and we are no exception.”
The Blue Devils are off to a 2-1-1 start with wins against Buffalo State and Marian, suffering their only defeat of the year to Cortland in the SUNYAC Challenge at Brockport Oct. 21. Fredonia State also played to a 2-2 tie against the No. 2 ranked St. Norbert Green Knights this past Saturday.
Plattsburgh is 2-0 after defeating Morrisville and Potsdam.
“Our league is so tough that each win only keeps you in contention for the top,” Meredith said on the importance of this weekend’s games. “It is not crazy to think that you almost have to run the table in order to be assured of finishing first in the conference.”
Last year Fredonia State and Plattsburgh split the season series 1-1, with both teams defending home ice. Fredonia State’s 4-3 victory came in overtime. Matt McKeown (Niagara Falls, Ont.) will look to continue a strong start to his Fredonia State career. The sophomore transfer was named SUNYAC Rookie of the Week after scoring a natural hattrick in the first period of an 8-2 victory over Marian last weekend. Fredonia State has also been helped by the strong play of junior forward Neal Sheehan (Avon Lake, Ohio). Sheehan is tied with McKeown for the team lead in points with eight.
Saturday night will feature another important conference match-up as Fredonia State hosts Potsdam.
“Potsdam is a team that is lethal offensively and can really light you up if you don’t buckle down on your own end of the ice,” Meredith said.
Fredonia State must play sound defense and stay out of the penalty box in order to beat Potsdam.
“Their power play is always one of the best in the country and we have had some battles with them in the past few years,” Meredith said.
Last year Fredonia State went 3-0-1 against Potsdam, winning all three home games (two during the SUNYAC quarterfinals) and playing to a tie on the road. Potsdam is off to a slow start this season at 0-4.
Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.