BUFFALO, N.Y. — Potsdam started the weekend with a tie and ended the weekend with a tie as they locked horns with Buffalo State, 2-2. Meanwhile, the Bengals notched just one point in a disappointing home weekend.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Potsdam coach Aaron Saul said. “I think we’re playing better every week. Would it have been nice to win one of the two? Yes, it would. Did we have a chance to win one of the
two? Yes, we did. Either night I think we could have won. To come up with two ties is still a step in the right direction.”
Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said, “It’s frustrating because we felt we definitely had opportunities, but by the same token we gave up some great opportunities.”
Potsdam came out strong, controlling play early. After Buffalo State settled down, play evened out with power plays dictating control. Missed opportunities and good goaltending kept the first period scoreless.
Potsdam had two golden opportunities when Luke Beck missed a breakaway and Connor Treacy later fired wide when he was alone in front of the net.
After both teams failed to score in the first period, it didn’t take much time in the second period for each team to notch their first. Buffalo took the initial lead 32 seconds into the period, and Potsdam tied it 2:20 later.
The Bengals goal came on a quick transition into the Bears’ zone, followed by a quick crossing pass by Nick Lynch to Joe Curry, who one-timed the shot into the near side.
Potsdam got their goal with the help of a two-man advantage. Luke Beck fired a wrister shot from deep inside the right faceoff circle, beating Kyle Gunn-Taylor cleanly.
Both teams had to withstand some strong opportunities by their opponents. Rick Miller came up with solid saves and Gunn-Taylor also had to come up with some key saves as well as get a bit lucky when Mitch West had three consecutive shots inches from the goal line, but could not get the puck in.
“Rick played great tonight,” Saul said. “He made some unbelievable saves tonight.”
“I think right now both goaltenders are giving us chances keeping us in games,” Carriere said.
Once again, it did not take long at the start of a period for a team to score. This time it was Potsdam that got a quick goal 27 seconds into the third period, a power-play goal for the Bears when Luke Beck’s shot from the faceoff circle was deflected in by Peter Vaisanen.
“We definitely worked on it (the power play) every day this week,” Saul said. “I think from week-to-week it’s going to get better.”
Buffalo State tied it midway through the period on their own power play goal thanks to pinpoint passing. Jeff Mok from the left point gave a hard pass to the opposite face off circle and Jason Hill one-timed a
slapper by Miller.
With two minutes left in regulation, Connor King had a golden opportunity to win it for the home team, but was robbed by Miller on a one-timer from in close. Miller ended up with 42 saves while Gunn-Taylor had 24 saves.
Potsdam came out very strong in the first two minutes of overtime, forcing Buffalo State to run around in their own zone, but once again, could not convert. The Bengals finally recovered and produced some excellent chances themselves, but the game ended in a tie.
The Bengals stay home for a Tuesday night game against Elmira. Potsdam finally gets to play at home for the first time this year when they host Morrisville for a pair of games.