GENESEO, N.Y. — The game started late. The game ended late. But for the Geneseo State Ice Knights, the game was 37 seconds long enough. That was how much time remained on the clock when Tony Scorsone scored the winning goal to give Geneseo a 3-1 victory over the Potsdam State Bears in a crucial contest.
It was a goal for the highlight reel, and Geneseo’s coach Brian Hills was suitably impressed. “Boudette and Scorsone did a great job on that goal.”
It all started with Potsdam getting a power play with 2:33 left in the game when Ryan Collins was called for tripping. The Bears’ anemic powerplay remained just that as they went 0-for-7 on the night despite putting some heavy pressure on in portions of their power plays.
This time, Potsdam came close to ending it in the Bears’ favor. However, they couldn’t find a way to beat Brett Walker, and near the end of the man-advantage, the puck came out to center ice. Peter Boudette raced for the puck, heading toward the opposition’s blue line.
Although he had a step on Potsdam, it appeared the Bears’ defender would successfully tie up Boudette. Boudette fought through the check and got a strong shot off. Ryan Venturelli made a superb save, and the rebound originally appeared to be knocked to a safe spot.
However, Tony Scorsone was rushing in from behind and picked up the puck at the faceoff circle to the goalie’s left. Venturelli slid across the crease taking up all the space he could. Scorsone had one place, and one place only, to put the puck — up high just underneath the crossbar.
That’s exactly what he did.
Andy Rice scored an unassisted empty-net goal 14 seconds later when Potsdam was incapable of clearing the puck from the goal line.
The win was a huge victory for Geneseo, looking to host the first round of the SUNYAC playoffs. “My kids came to play,” Hills said. “We wanted it bad.”
However, it was Potsdam that got on the scoreboard first in the opening period. Mark Hathaway, parked unharrassed in front of the net, received a quick pass from behind the goal off the stick of Mike Snow. Hathaway wasted no time, and quickly one-timed it past Walker, who could not recover to make the save. Johan Anderberg also got an assist on the goal that came at the 17:07 mark.
Geneseo tied it at 10:39 of the second. Paul Weismann, transfer from Bowling Green, got his first career goal. After rushing down the left side, he fired a low slapper on net. Venturelli had the angle cut down, but didn’t close up his five hole quick enough. The puck slithered through.
Despite that, Potsdam’s coach was happy with his netminder. “Ryan played well all night to win. When you only score one goal, you can’t win a game that way.”
Once again, Geneseo’s Brett Walker had a strong night, matching quick glove saves with his counterpart.
“Brett played well for us,” Hills said. “When he is on his game, he always gives us a chance to win.”
Geneseo remains tied for third place with Cortland, and now is only two points away from clinching a home berth. However, they next play Plattsburgh Saturday night at 7:00.
“We got to be patient,” Hills said. “Anytime you play an RIT, Plattsburgh, or Elmira, you have to play a great defensive game and capitalize on their mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Potsdam travels to Brockport for their Saturday night game. “We need that game tomorrow night,” Seney said bluntly.
It’s conceivable Geneseo and Potsdam could meet again next week.
“Wouldn’t that be something,” Hills said.