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College Hockey:
Brockport Edges Potsdam

— Brockport may have been eliminated from the playoffs the night before,
but they still had a lot to play for in their last home game of the year
where the seniors were honored. The Golden Eagles survived a wild third
period and defeated Potsdam, 5-4.

“We opened with adrenaline,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “We
had a pretty solid first 20 minutes. We got the lead. That was our
focus. We wanted to play with a lead tonight and expand on it when we
could. We did that and were able to separate from them and held on
there in the wild third period.”

Brockport entered the third period with a 3-1 lead and then quickly
scored a shorthanded goal at 4:59. A two-on-one developed deep in
Potsdam’s zone. Tim Crowley passed it across the crease to Steve
Seedhouse who easily one-timed it into the now unguarded net.

The goal should have been the back breaker for Potsdam, but the Bears
wouldn’t give up. They entered the game with an opportunity to get home
ice in the first round of the playoffs.

“Potsdam is a good team,” Dickinson said. “They were hungry. They were
playing for a home ice playoff spot, and we knew that. We talked about
it in the pre game. We wanted to play the role of spoilers.”

Just over a minute later, Connor Treacy got it back when he was fed down
low by Vince Tarantino. It left Treacy alone against the goaltender.
Treacy dragged the puck off to his left and then backhanded it over Greg
Van’t Hof.

Three minutes later, Brockport committed a terrible turnover giving the
puck to Luke Beck in the slot. He patiently waited and then beat Van’t
Hof on the near side for the unassisted goal.

“Luke Beck is a great player. He shows up every game,” Potsdam coach
Aaron Saul said. “Him and Connor have been playing together all of last
year. They feed off of each other. It’s fun to watch when they get going.”

Brockport once again attempted the kill shot two minutes later when Tim
Crowley scored his second of the night for a 5-3 lead. Rick Miller
didn’t see the rebound next to the post, and a wild scramble ensued.
After a lengthy discussion by the referees, they finally determined the
puck did indeed cross the line.

“He’s really stepped up his play,” Dickinson said of Crowley. “It’s
nice to see. Tim is going to be one of those go to guys next year as a
senior. Timmy has just been flying since the break. He just willed
that puck in on the game winner. He cut to the net and made a nice play
and the puck goes into the net just over the line to count.”

However, Potsdam was far from packing it in, and once again cut the lead
45 seconds later. Patrick Choules sent a slapshot from the right point
that Treacy deflected in for his second of the night. There was still
8:11 left to play.

“It was positive the whole third period,” Saul said. “It was great.
Guys were coming back and saying we are going to keep on going and not
worry about it. We’re just going to try and put the puck towards the
net. It was very positive towards each other. It was great to see as a
coach.”

Finally, the scoring surge came to a stop, and despite some more
pressure by Potsdam and the Bears pulling Miller for the final half
minute, the game ended without any more dramatics.

“You definitely have to look at our third period and the way we came out
in the third period and hopefully carry that into next week and into our
game on Friday,” Saul said. “But, it’s definitely a tough lesson to
learn especially late in the year that our guys need to understand that
you can’t just play for one or two periods. We’ve got to play for the
full 60 and not have to wait and get back into the game by playing a
desperate third period.”

Neither team got a power play goal, but a key deciding factor in the
game was Potsdam going zero for seven on their chances including blowing
a major penalty against Brockport by committing their own penalties.

“The same thing last week — we were oh for eight Saturday night,” Saul
said. “I just don’t think we are generating enough shots on net. It’s
something we are going to work on in practice next week to get ready for
Plattsburgh and into the playoffs. We know it’s something we have to
work on.”

“The penalty kill we knew was going to be important,” Dickinson said.
“We wanted to be aggressive against them. We took away their time and
space. I thought our penalty kill did an excellent job. We wanted to
cash in on our power play, but certainly our penalty kill rose to the
challenge today. Fortunately for us we outworked them on that [major]
power play and drew a couple of penalties and went on the power play
ourselves.”

Brockport scored the first goal of the game late in the first period
when Aaron Boyer deflected a shot from the right point that just snuck
by Miller. Crowley scored his first of the night early in the second as
he put a rebound over the sprawled goalie for the 2-0 lead.

Potsdam got one back when Spencer Noyes finally put in the third rebound
attempt. Dave McNabb made it 3-1 with four minutes left in the middle
period when his shot from the slot beat Miller, who didn’t have the
angle cut down properly, just inside the post.

Van’t Hof wound up with 36 saves for the win.

“Greg was waiting a long time to play, and we knew we could count on him
when he was in there,” Dickinson said.

Despite the loss, Potsdam (5-7-3, 8-12-4) clinched a playoff spot just
one year after finishing in last place thanks to Geneseo losing to
Plattsburgh, 6-3. Plattsburgh is Potsdam’s next opponent to close out
the regular season on Friday.

Brockport (4-9-2, 7-14-3) travels to Geneseo for their last game as both
teams are out of the playoffs and tied for seventh place.

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