GENESEO, N.Y. — After all the hype, after all the anticipation, after all the talk, it turned out to not even be close.
Plattsburgh made a very strong statement by handily beating Geneseo, 7-1, quickly silencing the large crowd. It came eight months to the day since Plattsburgh lost to Geneseo in last season’s SUNYAC championship.
“I thought we just got flat out beat,” Geneseo coach Jason Lammers said, not making any excuses. “I thought they out competed us. They won a lot of the one-on-ones. They played a great game.”
However, it was Geneseo that first took control of play and in fact, scored first, just 2:43 into the game. It came on the power play. The Ice Knights took a shot, and the team crashed the net. After a few shots from in close, Ram Sidhu finally knocked a rebound past Craig Neilson.
That would be the sole highlight for Geneseo and their crowd. Two minutes later, Geneseo was whistled for a penalty, and the tide of the game completely turned around to Plattsburgh’s favor.
Mike Thomson tied it up on that power play. Deryk Whitehead made a quick play around the net and centered it to Thomson who redirected the puck into the near side.
Less than two minutes later, Justin Rafferty scored on a delayed penalty call off a three-on-one. Whitehead skated it in down the right side. He passed it to David Friel coming down the middle. Friel back passed to Rafferty, who deked with his forehand, and backhanded it over the leg of Derek Jokic.
Kevin Galan made it 3-1 before the first intermission on a flukish goal. His shot towards the net appeared saved by Jokic, but it somehow bounced around and into the net.
When the second period started, Jokic was on the bench, and Jeff Pasemko was in net. That lasted a whole 6:08 and two more goals, before Jokic was back in the game.
“I thought we needed a change,” said Lammers, explaining the goaltender merry-go-round. “That’s the reason we made the switches.”
Those two goals were scored by Ryan Busby and Whitehead. Busby’s goal came when Geneseo was unable to clear the puck, and Plattsburgh did a good job controlling the puck. Shane Remenda threw it down low, and Busby backhanded it in. Whitehead made it 5-1 when his simple shot from the side found it’s way through the five-hole.
Pasemko was pulled, and Jokic was back in. It didn’t matter. Late in the second period, Galan scored his second of the night. Friel brought it down the right side and back passed it to Galan, who fired a one-timer up high leaving the goalie with no chance.
In the third period, Geneseo figured if neither goalie was doing the job, then play with no goalie. With 10-1/2 minutes left in the game, Lammers pulled his goalie and put out six skaters. He has done this before in their loss to Queen’s College.
“The last two times we’ve done that, we played our best hockey,” he said.
And they did play very well, nearly scoring a couple of times. They even got themselves on a power play, which made it six on four. However, that was negated when Geneseo had trouble counting that high, and ended up putting seven skaters on the ice.
Another penalty later and with Jokic back in, Plattsburgh scored on the two-man advantage. Plattsburgh passed it around before sending it down low where Bryant Wilson one-timed a slapper into the net.
Geneseo pulled their goalie again, but once again it didn’t make a difference.
“I thought our goalie played well,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery said of his team. “I thought we did a good job getting to the puck. I think we were opportunistic.”
Neilson finished with 22 saves for the win.
Lammers was philosophical after the loss: “We have to continue to get better.”
Geneseo will have that opportunity when they take their 4-1-1 record (1-1 in conference) to Buffalo State and Fredonia next weekend.
“I’m very happy with our team, 3-0 in conference [3-1 overall],” Emery said. “And we have the next four league games at home.”
The first two are when they host Oswego and Cortland this weekend.