College Hockey:
Cardinals Warm Up For Playoffs

It was deja vu all over again.

The last time Plattsburgh and Potsdam faced each other, Plattsburgh won 3-2 in overtime. Tuesday, that’s exactly what happened again, with the only difference being that the game was played in Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall, as opposed to Plattsburgh’s Stafford Arena back in December.

The game started out as a close checking affair with a scoreless first period and only ten shots (five for each team) taken in the opening stanza.

The second period opened up a bit, and it showed on the scoreboard. Plattsburgh claimed first blood at the 11:35 mark. Jeff Hopkins, after being denied twice by Ryan Venturelli, finally knocked the puck in on his third attempt. The play started out as a two on one after Plattsburgh stopped a Potsdam two on one.

Plattsburgh went up 2-0 at 16:49 on a goal by Jeff Marshall. He first took a shot from the faceoff circle on which Venturelli made a great save. Marshall picked up his own rebound, and from an impossible angle, simply shot it towards the net. It deflected off Venturelli and into the goal.

Potsdam would get one back while skating four-on-four just before the end of the period. Chris Lee showed that patience is a virtue when he waited for Niklas Sundberg to make the first move. Sundberg went down, and Lee went top shelf with it. The goal came with 36 seconds left in the second.

About four minutes into the third period, Potsdam’s Mike Snow was stopped on a breakaway by Sundberg. Not too much later, though, at 5:31 of the third, Potsdam got the tying goal. Anthony Greer let go of a blast that Sundberg initially had. However, he couldn’t handle it and the puck rolled out of his glove and into the net.

Despite opportunities by both sides, regulation ended in a 2-2 tie.

Plattsburgh had the best chances in overtime. Conor McDonough found himself in front with his own rebound but knocked it over the net before the winner came on a three on one breakout.

Hopkins skated it behind the net and quickly put the puck back out in front, and Mark Coletta knocked the puck in with lots of bodies in front. In fact, Potsdam argued that there were men in the crease but to no avail as the goal came at 3:06 of the extra period.

Venturelli ended up with 28 saves while Sundberg got the win with 30.

The win gives Plattsburgh a final regular-season record of 18-7-0, with a 13-1-0, first place SUNYAC record. The Cardinals get to rest for a week as they await whoever comes out of the play-in round of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, despite the loss, Potsdam remains in fifth place, thanks to Buffalo State losing to Fredonia, 4-2. The Bears will take their 6-8-0 conference record (11-14-0 overall) into Geneseo this Friday and Saturday night for a two-game playoff series. Both start times are at 7 p.m.

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