Sports Information Department – 112 Dods Hall
CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Devils, Plattsburgh have done this before
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- It's just like old times for the Fredonia State Blue Devils and Plattsburgh Cardinals.
The teams played for the SUNYAC championship four times in six years during the 1990s. Each team won two titles, which makes their fifth meeting -- 8 p.m. Saturday at Plattsburgh -- a rubber match of sorts.
The winner earns an automatic spot in the 10-team NCAA Tournament.
Jeff Meredith has been at the helm of all four previous Blue Devil SUNYAC championship apperances. The first, in 1992, resulted in an 8-4 single-game loss at Plattsburgh. The Blue Devils won the title on home ice in 1994 and 1995, then lost to the Cardinals in 1997 at Plattsburgh.
The challenge of winning on the road is no longer an issue for the Blue Devils. Seeded No. 5 at the start of the tournament, they have already defeated No. 4 Buffalo State and No. 1 Oswego to reach the championship game.
Both games were overtime white-knucklers. A goal by Colin Sarfeh (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) in the second overtime downed Buffalo State, 2-1, on Feb. 20. The 3-2 overtime win last Saturday at Oswego came on a goal by Matt McKeown (Niagara Falls, Ont.). Sophomore goaltender Kevin Amborski (Bloomfield) made 42 saves in each game.
"The fact that our Buffalo State game went long into overtime," Meredith said, "was a crucial experience for us when we got into overtime against Oswego. Having been in that situation before brought an amazing amount of confidence to us as we prepared to take the ice in Oswego, even after giving up the tying goal with less that two minutes to play."
Plattsburgh, the No. 3 seed when play began, advanced to the title game with victories over No. 6 Brockport at home, 9-2, and No. 2 Geneseo on the road, 8-2. The Cardinals are No. 14 in the USCHO.com Division III rankings, while the Blue Devils are unranked.
The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Fredonia State won Nov. 3 at home, 4-3, while the teams played to a 3-3 tie Jan. 26 at Plattsburgh. "I would expect that we will have another battle on our hands with playing Plattsburgh at home," Meredith said. "They have been scoring at a torrid pace and can really light it up in their building. Anybody who can go to Geneseo and score eight goals has got our attention."
The game will be broadcast line on WCVF (88.9 FM) and will be webcast by Fredonia Radio Systems.