FREDONIA, N.Y. — Cortland won its first game under new head coach Tom Cranfield, upsetting last season’s SUNYAC runner-up, Potsdam, 3-2 in the first round of Fredonia’s SUNYAC Challenge tournament.
Each team scored once in the first period. Potsdam’s Jason Brothers got his first of the season at 13:20 on the power play resulting from a Chris Cullen roughing call. Chris Hesse and Jim Quilty assisted for the Bears.
Cortland’s Tim Earl tied the game at 1 with 1:35 left in the first, with assists to Dave Ambul and Scott Lewis.
Jeff Olsen scored unassisted for the Red Dragons at 17:02 of the second, one of 15 Cortland shots on goal in the period.
Dave Ambuhl got the game winner for Cortland at 12:17 of the third, with assists to Olsen and Kevin Watters.
After a penalty to Cortland’s Bryan Hortsmanshof for holding the stick with just 6:04 left in the contest, Potsdam coach Ed Seney called his time out. Just nine seconds into the ensuing power play, Potsdam’s twelfth, Gordon Bell scored, with assists to Mike Snow and Dave Weagle.
Seney pulled goaltender Ryan Venturelli with 40 seconds left in the period for the extra attacker, but the Bears were unable to force overtime.
Venturelli made 24 saves, while Cortland’s John Larnerd stopped 17 shots.
Cortland was scoreless on 10 power play opportunities.
Cortland (1-0-0) meets tournament host Fredonia at 7:00 p.m. Saturday in the tournament championship. Potsdam (0-1-0) faces Buffalo State in the consolation game at 2:00 p.m.