The Cardinals weathered an uncharacteristic string of penalties at the beginning of Saturday's first period and then grabbed the lead just before it ended.
Plattsburgh State scored two more in the second on the way to beating Morrisville, 3-1, in a SUNY Athletic Conference men's hockey game at Stafford Ice Arena.
The third-ranked Cardinals held a 43-15 advantage in shots, and the Mustangs had hardly any good scoring chances until the end.
"We had a lot of puck possession in the offensive zone; you don't have to worry about your defense then," Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said. "Our time of possession in the offensive zone was, I thought, really good for us (Saturday)."
The Cardinals (12-2-4, 7-1-1 SUNYAC), who are unbeaten in their last 11 games, remained one point out of first place in the SUNYAC standings.
They were called for three penalties in the first 10:28 of the game but killed them all off and still managed to outshoot the Mustangs, 16-3, in the first period. In the final minute, Jared Docking put one in from out front during a power play.
"We just cycled and I walked out of the corner, and I was actually all alone," Docking said. "I got a pass and just put it to my backhand and scored. So it was pretty easy."
Patrick Jobb found the back of the net from a sharp angle on the left side six minutes into the second, and Nick Jensen made it 3-0 late in the period.
After Plattsburgh was whistled for too many men with 36 seconds left in the game, the Mustangs pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 and James Jarvis scored.
That was their only power-play goal of the game, but they had six opportunities against one of the least-penalized teams in Division III.
"My concern (Saturday) is the penalties," Emery said. "That's uncharacteristic of us. And as a coaching staff, we're not going to settle for that. We've gotta be more disciplined than that.
"Way too much time in the box."
He took particular issue with a hitting-the-goaltender penalty Alex Brenton picked up after a collision with Colin Breen in the third. Breen briefly lay on the ice not moving and then sat up and eventually went back to his net
, but Brenton was sent to the locker room by Emery.
"Something we have to avoid," Emery said. Jobb served the penalty for Brenton.
Breen made 40 saves for Morrisville (3-14-1, 2-7-1).
Plattsburgh's Mathieu Cadieux wasn't tested much, but he made what Emery said was a key save on a breakaway in the first period to keep it 0-0. He finished with 14 stops.
The Cardinals have been searching for a complete-game effort, and both Emery and Docking said they were pretty consistent against the Mustangs.
"We played pretty good (Saturday)," Docking said. "We played 59 minutes and 47 seconds, so we'll get to 60 minutes pretty soon."
Plattsburgh 3, Morrisville 1
Morrisville 0 0 1 — 1
Plattsburgh 1 2 0 — 3
First period- 1, PSU, Docking (Taylor, Grace), 19:15 (pp). Penalties: N. Jensen, PSU (interference), 1:09. Puglisi, PSU (holding the stick), 7:53. Jobb, PSU (elbowing), 10:28. Longland, Mor (hooking), 17:11. Nelson, Mor (interference), 19:52.
Second period- 2, PSU, Jobb (Kaye), 6:08. 3, PSU, N. Jensen (A. Jensen), 16:17. Penalties: Renaud, Mor (hooking), 10:55. Farnan, PSU (tripping), 18:42.
Third period- 4, Mor, Jarvis (Hosmer, Nelson), 19:47 (pp). Penalties: Brenton, PSU (hitting the goalie), 3:43. Team, PSU (too many players), 19:24.
Shots on goal:
Morrisville 3 2 10 — 15
Plattsburgh 16 19 8 — 43
Goaltenders (shots-saves): Breen, Mor, 43-40. Cadieux, Mor, 15-14.
Power plays (goals-opportunities): Morrisville 1-6; Plattsburgh 1-3.