It was deja vu all over again.
The last time Potsdam and Geneseo met at the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena, Potsdam needed a late score with the goaltender pulled, and then an overtime tally to steal a win from Geneseo.
That Potsdam did Sunday, taking the 4-3 decision at 1:02 of overtime as Mike McCabe picked up a loose puck in the slot area and fired a waist-high shot that bounced off the goal post and into the net.
However, unlike last year, Potsdam needed two late goals to force the extra period.
Potsdam grabbed a first-period lead at the 7:18 mark. Sophomore Dave Weagle skated the puck into Geneseo’s zone down the right side, went behind the net, then back out in front still untouched. Weagle dished it out to Mike Smitko at the faceoff circle, and Smitko one-timed it. Joe Munn tipped the shot through the five hole for the goal.
For the second game in a row, Potsdam peppered the opposition’s net only to be turned back by the netminder. In this case, it was Jeff Phelps, a freshman quickly establishing himself as Geneseo’s number-one goalie.
First-period shots were 15-5 in favor of Potsdam. The second period was a reversal of that as Geneseo led that category 13-11. And it paid off for the Ice Knights as they took a 2-1 lead.
Geneseo’s first goal was scored by Kyle Langdon at the 6:37 mark. He threw a shot towards the net that Ryan Venturelli had trouble with, squeezing it between his body and left arm before letting it slip through. Assists went to Pat McKendry and David Bagley.
While that goal may have been soft, the second Geneseo goal was anything but.
After Jason Burgess won the faceoff, Jason Gurnett skated the puck across to the slot area. He then let go a wrister in the opposite direction, completely fooling the goaltender at the 17:03 mark.
Midway through the third period, the Ice Knights scored what seemed to be the backbreaker as Aaron Coleman, relatively quiet the whole game, showed why he is one of the top snipers in the country. On the power play, he found himself with the puck at the right faceoff circle. With barely enough room on the short side to fit a puck through, that’s exactly what he did, releasing a shot so quick that Venturelli barely reacted. Bagley and Bryan Bowser got the assists.
However, that lead wouldn’t be good enough. With Jack Staley off for roughing, the Bears would score a power-play goal of their own. Brendon Knight’s shot from the right point was deflected in by Chris Hesse. Dave Weagle also got an assist. The goal came with 6:07 left in the game.
Potsdam was then forced to pull the goalie for the extra skater and it panned out. The Bears gambled, pinching their defensemen in deep in an effort to apply pressure, which resulted in a scramble in front of the net that allowed Joe Wlodarczyk to knock the loose puck in. Sean Darke got the assist.
Fifty-three seconds remained on the clock.
Despite two ties, Potsdam’s 2-0-2 SUNYAC record is good enough to keep them in second place with Fredonia, two points behind Plattsburgh, and they remain undefeated overall at 4-0-2. Geneseo drops to 1-3 in league play.
Potsdam will next take the ice in the ultracompetitive Primelink Shootout, facing off against Norwich in the first round. Geneseo doesn’t have it any easier, hosting RIT on Tuesday.