College Hockey:
Potsdam Finds Range, Cruises Past Brockport

— “We’re a funny team,” Potsdam State coach Ed Seney said after the game.

Consistency has been an issue for the Bears throughout the season, so the question going into Saturday night’s game against Brockport State was how was Potsdam going to play coming out of the locker room.

The Bears answered that question quickly, jumping out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 6-2 victory in Brockport. Along the way, Potsdam — stop the presses — scored a power-play goal.

The win moves Potsdam into fifth place by one point after Buffalo State lost to Cortland State, 7-3.

Potsdam came out flying in the first period, dominating play despite getting called for a few early penalties. After Brockport outshot the Bears 7-1 thanks to those power plays, Potsdam outshot the Golden Eagles 12-1 the rest of the period.

Lou Demers started the scoring at 6:49 when he deflected a shot over the shoulder of goalie Joe Messina with Jan Anderberg getting the assist.

Mike Snow made it 2-0 when he banged in his own rebound from in close after Kevin Vogel initially shot if from the left point.

The Bears really got the jump in the second period taking only eleven seconds to score. A quick rush resulted in a close range three on none. Mike Smitko passed it across the front of the goal where Chris Lee easily one timed past Messina.

Then, at 2:31, Potsdam made it 4-0. On a power play. Mike Snow’s speed around the net allowed him to put in a wraparound goal before Messina could make it across to protect that side. It was his second on the night.

This was only Potsdam’s second power-play goal in their previous 35 attempts up to that point. They would go one for seven on the night, missing their last three chances.

By the 3:57 mark of the second, Potsdam was up 5-0; this time on a shorthanded goal. Brockport was bringing the puck into the zone, but got clogged up on the blue line. Anthony Greer took control of the puck, and Mark Hathaway took off down the middle. With Brockport’s momentum still heading towards the Potsdam zone, the Bears couldn’t react in time.

Greer hit Hathaway with a perfect leading pass, and Hathaway went in alone. Messina came out and lunged at the puck, but Hathaway was quick enough to get the shot off before Messina could knock him off his feet.

At this point, it appeared the game was going to be a blowout. However, Brockport didn’t fold the tents, scoring its first goal midway through the game. Brad Zarem picked up a loose puck in the slot area and fired a quick wrist shot that beat Ryan Venturelli on the glove side.

Near the end of the period, Chris Christensen put Brockport within three goals.

Brockport was looking for a miracle comeback at the start of the third period, but Potsdam had other ideas, holding the Golden Eagles to just four shots.

“After we got up 5-0, we had a little lapse, and they made it 5-2,” Seney said. “But we were very solid in the third period.”

During the first intermission, Brockport honored the seniors and their parents. They were captain Darren Kennedy, Joe Messina, Don Stiner, and Jimmy Borden.

Brockport, out of the playoffs, has one game left in the season, hosting Geneseo Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and still looking for its first conference win.

Meanwhile, Potsdam’s home game against Plattsburgh on Tuesday could decide who it plays in the first round. Potsdam is two points behind Geneseo, but cannot catch Geneseo as the Bears lose the tiebreaker. However, Potsdam are one point ahead of Buffalo State.

If Potsdam beats Plattsburgh, the Bears play at Geneseo, if not, and Buffalo State also loses its last game, Potsdam still plays Geneseo. Otherwise, Potsdam will be visiting Cortland.

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