Cardinals are Preseason #1 in NCAA Division III Men's Hockey
MINNEAPOLIS -The Plattsburgh State men's hockey team will start the 2009-10 season where it finished last year: ranked No. 1 in the nation by USCHO.com. The Cardinals received five first-place votes and a total of 253 points to edge defending NCAA Division III champion Neumann (9 first-place votes, 245) by eight points. Click Here for complete USCHO.com NCAA Division III Top 15 Poll
Including last season in which it spent the last 14 weeks atop the national rankings, Plattsburgh has extended a school record of 15 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the NCAA Division III poll of 15 coaches and five media members.
Voters apparently were not phased by the fact that Plattsburgh lost a combined 77 percent of its offensive points off last year's squad that went 24-2-2 overall, 15-0-1 in SUNYAC to set a school record for conference wins and captured State University of New York Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
The Cardinals, however, do return a solid core of veterans and have a talented recruiting class of 13 freshmen to stay competitive. The list of returnees starts with All-America junior forward Dylan Clarke who racked up career highs of 23 assists and 39 points to earn All-SUNYAC First Team honors in 2009. Also returning on offense is Phil Farrow who had all-conference-type numbers of 12 goals and 26 assists for 38 points--all career highs. Other scorers in double digits include Eric Satim (11+18=29), Ryan Corry (5+21=26), Kyle Kudroch (10+5=15), Andrew Willock (6+8=14), Dan Sliasis (4+10=14), Kyle Taylor (6+5=11), Vick Schlueter (5+5=10) and Mike Kavanagh (4+6=10).
Corry, who made the all-SUNYAC first team as a sophomore, is the team's top returning defenseman. One of the top-scoring blueliners in the nation, he also helped a stingy Plattsburgh defense that ranked No. 1 in SUNYAC and was third in Division III scoring defense at 1.93 per game and also allowed 54 goals for the fewest in team history a year ago.
Coach Bob Emery, who is in his 21st year at the helm, will be piloting a young squad of 20 freshmen and sophomores that seeks a third-straight SUNYAC championship and 20th overall, as well as the program's NCAA-record 18th Division III Tournament berth.
Plattsburgh opens the new season in earnest this weekend hosting SUNYAC opponents Geneseo and Brockport on Friday and Saturday, both games starting at 7 p.m. in Stafford Ice Arena.