Mixed Results For Sunyac Teams As They Slowly Return To Action
Plattsburgh, Potsdam, and Cortland all won twice as they returned to action in the new millennium. However, only Cortland didn’t lose a game, defeating Humber College, 4-3, and Hamilton College, 4-1; both Plattsburgh’s and Potsdam’s wins were sandwiched around losses. For Plattsburgh that was a crushing 8-2 defeat at the hands of RIT amidst beating Hobart, 5-2, and Norwich, 4-3. Potsdam lost to New England College, 3-1, thanks to a former Bear goaltender, but beat Plymouth State, 8-1, and Manhattanville, 4-2. In the only other action since the break, Brockport lost to New England, 9-3.
PLATTSBURGH (Ranked No. 5) — The Cardinals have stumbled a bit in midseason — they have gone 2-2 in their last four games due to a split in their own tournament and a victory over Norwich. Plattsburgh State opened the tournament with a 5-2 victory over Hobart, a game even till the third period (in fact, the final shots on goal ended up 32 apiece) before Plattsburgh scored four goals in the final eight minutes to overcome a one-goal deficit. Rob Retter scored early in the first, but Hobart tied it midway through the period. The 1-1 score stayed that way until Hobart notched a power-play goal early in the third period. Mark Coletta helped the Cardinals get untracked by scoring the next two goals, followed by a late goal by Brian Toussaint and an empty-netter by Jeff Hopkins. Niklas Sundberg made 30 saves. Plattsburgh then faced soon to be number-one RIT, and got pounded, 8-2. RIT was up 6-0 before Hopkins scored, and 7-1 when Joe Dolci scored. Both goals came in the second period. Finally, the Cardinals bounced back strong against Norwich in a 4-3 triumph. Plattsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a pair of goals by Dolci and one by Coletta. However, Norwich would score twice before the period was over to make a game of it. Tyler Keenan scored early in the second, and that would hold up despite a third-period goal by Norwich. Sundberg made 28 saves. Plattsburgh was 3-for-6 on the power play. This week, the Cardinals continue facing tough competition as they travel to Elmira.
OSWEGO (Ranked No. 10) — The Great Lakers don’t return to action until they host Manhattanville on Friday.
POTSDAM (Ranked No. 9) — At first glance, one would think Potsdam State should not have lost to New England College, but a closer look at the situation makes it obvious why the upset occurred. First, Potsdam was busy using Plymouth State for shooting practice. The Bears unleashed 70 shots on net en route to a 8-1 win as Brendon Knight got two goals and an assist and Mike McCabe and Chris Hesse each notched one goal and two assists. Other goal-scorers were Sean Darke, Dave Weagle, Nick Eagan, and Joe Munn, and Chris Lee got three assists. Todd Manley made 17 saves, while Matt O’Connor played 10 minutes but never saw a shot. Then came New England College and their goaltender, Ryan Thomson — yes, the same Ryan Thomson who just a year ago was the Bears’ top goaltender. Potsdam brought in a new recruit, and Thomson decided to go elsewhere. The result seems to indicate he was pumped for this game, making 28 saves and letting in just one goal (Mike Smitko) to upset his former team, 3-1. Todd Manley played well, stopping 24 shots while letting in only two goals (the last was an empty-netter), but the day belonged to Thomson. Then, like Plattsburgh, the Bears bounced back, defeating Manhattanville, 4-2. Mike McCabe and Joe Wlodarczyk each scored twice and Ryan Venturelli made 31 saves for the win. Potsdam takes a rest this week.
FREDONIA — The Blue Devils come off their semester break with an exhibition game at Humber College and then a contest at top-ranked RIT.
GENESEO — The Ice Knights will return to action this week with one home game against Elmira.
BUFFALO STATE — The Bengals must be eager to return to action after ending the last semester on such a high. They have a pair of games at Milwaukee School of Engineering.
CORTLAND — The Red Dragons started the second semester on the right foot with two wins, an exhibition victory over Humber College, 4-3, and an upset over Hamilton College, 4-1. The Humber game was a see-saw battle as Cortland State jumped out to a very early lead on a goal by Mike Rivara. After Humber took a 2-1 lead, Matt Donskov tied it up on a power-play tally. Humber again took a one-goal lead midway through the third period before Jeff Olsen came to the rescue, scoring twice in a 1:04 span, both while the teams skated 4-on-4 in the waning minutes of the game, to snatch the win. John Larnerd and Mark Paine split duties in net. Next, the victory over Hamilton came despite Cortland only getting 15 shots on goal. Greg Menchen scored twice in the second period, including a shorthander, sandwiched around the lone Hamilton goal. Donskov also scored in the middle stanza while Shawn Jensen added an empty-netter to seal the win. Larnerd made 30 saves. Cortland plays at RIT, then hosts Manhanttanville the following day.
BROCKPORT — On paper, Brockport State may have had a chance against New England College. However, when you commit 36 minutes in penalties, and allow the opposition to score three power-play goals on six opportunities and two 4-on-4 goals, you’re not going to win, and they didn’t, dropping a 9-3 decision. New England was up 2-0 when Brandon Marineau scored to end the first period. New England than jumped out to a 5-1 lead before Stephen Howard stopped the bleeding to end the second. Kenny Daleo got the final Brockport goal in the third period. Adding insult to injury, Brockport loses the services of its outstanding first year goalie, Tom Payment, who was ruled academically ineligible, Christian Christensen, their fourth-leading scorer (and Brockport’s top scorer in conference play) decided to leave school, and Adam Prescott, their fifth-leading scorer, is out for the season with a dislocated elbow. The Golden Eagles try to regroup at Hobart.
Upcoming Game Of The Week
We’re going to go with two games this week: one obvious, one not. The obvious one is Plattsburgh at Elmira. If you need to ask why, you haven’t been following Division III college hockey very long.
The not-so-obvious one is Manhattanville at Cortland. Both teams are looking to gain credibility in their respective conferences, so it will be interesting to see how they do against each other. The only downside to this contest is that Cortland may come in beat up from its game the night before against RIT.