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College Hockey:
Buffalo State Tops Geneseo

Seventh Straight Win Huge for Playoff Positioning

— Buffalo State and Geneseo came into tonight’s game as part of a
three-way tie for the last two playoff spots. Buffalo State made the
best of their opportunities delighting their largest home crowd of the
season, defeating Geneseo, 5-3. This was the Bengals seventh straight
victory.

“We got some calls. We got some bounces,” Buffalo State coach Nick
Carriere said. “I’m a strong believer in puck luck, and I think the
first half of the season we got no puck luck, no officiating luck.
We’re making a lot better decisions with the puck and we’re
understanding how to play together a lot better.”

“Buffalo State came out with a very intelligent energy,” Geneseo coach
Chris Schultz said. “I thought they played a very good game. They
finished on their opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Geneseo continue to struggle trying to put the puck in the
net, and tonight’s game was a culmination of numerous missed open nets,
leaving Schultz in a sour mood.

“I’m absolutely disgusted by our effort today,” he said. “Absolutely
disgusted.”

The Bengals wasted no time getting the jump on the Ice Knights — just
23 seconds.

The Geneseo defenders overplayed the puck, and headed up ice while
Buffalo State’s Kerry Barchan was heading straight at them. Barchan
blew past the defenders on the right side as he entered the zone. He
went in alone on Derek Jokic, cut back to the middle and then back to
his right, easily depositing the puck past a slower Jokic.

“One of our veteran defenseman just makes a terrible jump on the play
and he bites on the pass, and gives the kid a break and that sets the
tone at least for the first period,” Schultz said.

What also set the tone for the first period were a number of golden
opportunities wasted.

“Early on in the first period when we get our chances — two wide open
nets on the backdoor, and you don’t finish. That sets the tone, too,”
Schultz said.

Geneseo did actually tie the game at 13:15 of the first period on a goal
that took the referees seemingly forever to decide whether it went in.

In a scramble in front of the net, Casey Balog apparently found a way to
knock it in. Geneseo celebrated at first, but when Kyle Gunn-Taylor
came up with the puck, it was in front of the line.

The refs talked it over for awhile, then discussed it with the goal
judge for awhile, then talked it over again for a long time. It was
finally decided that the puck did initially cross the line before
Gunn-Taylor got his glove on it.

This controversial goal could have unglued Buffalo State, but for an
attitude adjustment by their coach.

“I think its something I’ve made an adjustment as a coach to not get
involved in the officiating,” Carriere said. “It’s probably one of the
hardest things in the world to do, but I noticed how much our guys get
involved when I get involved in it, so I don’t. I talk about staying at
an even keel, good or bad, what do we have to do as a team to address
this challenge.”

It paid off as the Bengals unleashed four unanswered goals.

They retook the lead with 1:13 left in the period on the powerplay.
After some quick puck movement, Barchan passed it in front to Joe Curry
who shot it in.

The Bengals jumped out to a 3-1 lead at 3:56 of the second period.
Kevin Kozlowski’s initial shot from the right side was saved. The
rebound came out the opposite side with Jokic down on the ice. Connor
King picked up the rebound, shot it late, but it still went underneath a
diving Jokic.

Curry scored his second on the night again on the power play about
halfway through the game. His blast from the left point glanced off the
post on its way into the net unseen by most on the ice and in the
rink. Not even the professional goalie in Buffalo, Ryan Miller, could
have stopped that one.

Geneseo had an extended five-on-three powerplay, but again they
consistently whiffed on shots that were easy backdoor open net
opportunities.

“That’s the story of our season,” Schultz said. “We outshoot Utica,
28-15, but lose 3-1 because you can’t finish. It’s not being able to
score goals is a battle we’ve been facing all year.”

Penalties also were a problem for Geneseo in what was a reversal of
discipline for Buffalo State, the most penalized team in the league.

“We’ve been extremely good with penalties in probably the last five or
six games,” Schultz said. “You take penalties when the other team is
better than you, and that’s what happened. When the other team is
coming out with more energy you’re chasing them all the time, you’re the
ones taking penalties. That’s what happened tonight.”

Barchan finished the scoring for Buffalo State with 1:11 left in the
second period when he was unmarked in the slot area, and easily wristed
it in after receiving the pass from Nick Petriella.

Geneseo scored two late goals that were too little with the last coming
on a two man advantage. Brandon French stuffed in a rebound at 14:41.
Then, Andrew Rygiel redirected a pass through the five-hole at 16:43.
Geneseo pulled their goalie in the final minute, but nothing came of it.

Geneseo (4-6, 5-13) faces another tough battle traveling to Fredonia who
beat Brockport tonight, 4-3.

“We’re just going to have to go back at it,” Schultz said. “Every
chance you get, you’re going to have to throw pucks at the net and
create traffic in front of the goaltender.”

Buffalo State (4-4-2, 9-8-2)) stays at home and hopes to continue to
pull away from the logjam for the final playoff spots. They face a
desperate Brockport.

“I expect a meat and sandwich wrapped up in a brown bag,” Carriere
said. “The first time we played them it was a smash mouth type of
game. They’ve been working really, really hard. They are a veteran
hockey team that is big and physical that do a lot of good things.”

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