GENEVA, N.Y. — In its first game of the year, Hobart came out flying and put a lot of pressure on the Potsdam net, only to see the Bears, in their fourth game, weather the storm on the way to a 4-0 victory.
“We expected that [effort] being it is their first game,” said Potsdam coach Glenn Thomaris. “Ryan [Venturelli] made some nice saves. We got some early power-play goals and that took some wind out of their sails.”
Hobart was fired up from the opening faceoff. Potsdam was whistled for two successive minors, and it was like chum in the water as the Statesmen circled around the Potsdam net. Venturelli made some strong saves, and the closest Hobart could get was dinging it off the post twice.
Once the penalties expired, Hobart continued to press. However Potsdam righted the ship, and scored on its very first good opportunity in the Hobart zone. Jason Brothers gathered the puck behind the Hobart net, and passed it to Eric Peter-Kaiser waiting between the circles. Peter-Kaiser one-timed the puck home for the goal 8:59 in to the game.
“We worked hard, but we gave them some early-season mistakes and they capitalized on them,” said Hobart coach Mark Taylor. “They are playing darn good hockey with the opportunities.”
The Potsdam power play took over on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game. The Bears scored on each of their first three power plays to build a commanding 4-0 lead by midway of the second period.
At the 12:44 mark of the first period, Mike Snow got the power play going with a goal. Joel Jennings and Anthony Greer each added power-play goals in the second period to reach the final score.
Venturelli put on a show in net for Potsdam, stopping all 31 shots he faced to earn his fifth career shutout.
“Their goalie was playing real well,” said Taylor. “We were pressing as the game went on.”
Potsdam is off to a strong 4-0 start on the season under new head coach Thomaris.
“We’ll learn about each other,” said Thomaris. “If you can win, and make some mistakes, that is a good start.”