GENESEO, N.Y. — Geneseo spotted Fredonia two goals and then came storming back to defeat the Blue Devils 6-2. The Ice Knights scored a short-handed goal to tie the game late in the second period and never looked back.
“Definitely the short-handed goal by Panetta,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said of the turning point in the game. “Going down 2-0 when you think you should have been up 2-0 at that point, it’s tough being in that position because you are getting you’re chances but you’re not finishing. Finally, we got one by [Pat] Street and when Panetta went off the bar on that shot it got the crowd going and got everybody into it. As soon as that goal was scored there wasn’t any doubt on our bench. The guys were ready to get going and win the game.”
Geneseo accomplished what they set out to do in the first period with one important exception; they did not score. The Ice Knights applied a strong forecheck, took a lot of shots (13), and dumped it in whenever they could not gain the zone. This caused Fredonia to play back on their heels for a fair share of the opening period. However, Pat Street kept the puck out of the net and Fredonia’s defensemen cleared the rebounds, preventing Geneseo from getting any second shots.
“When we walked in after the first period the first thing I told the guys were we were fine,” Schultz said. “It was 0-0. I wouldn’t call it great, I wouldn’t call it bad. We played our system. We worked through their neutral zone trap. We did all the things we wanted to do. We just weren’t scoring.”
It was more of the same at the start of the second period, but it was Fredonia that got on the scoreboard first at 3:24. Andrew Dissanayake picked up the loose puck behind the net and wrapped it around the left post, avoiding the skate of Cory Gershon.
Fredonia quickly made it 2-0 at 6:36 on their second power play of the night. Jordan Oye banged in a rebound from in close after a shot from Bryan Goudy.
Suddenly, despite territorial advantage in Geneseo’s favor, the Ice Knights found themselves in a 2-0 hole.
Geneseo was not deterred.
“They just believed in each other,” Schultz said. “There wasn’t any panic at all. We just stuck with what we were doing, stuck to our game plan.”
They finally got on the scoreboard at 6:36 when Dan Brown converted a cross-ice pass from Sebastian Panetta. Brown’s quick shot prevented Street from making the save.
Then came the key short-handed goal at 18:15. Panetta and Phil Rose broke out on a clean two-on-one. Panetta carried the puck down the right side, used Rose as a perfect decoy, and blasted a waist high shot past Street that glanced the post on the way in.
Now, the game was tied and the momentum was back on Geneseo’s side. The Ice Knights then applied shock and awe, scoring twice in the first 1:45 of the third period.
Stefan Decosse got things going 44 seconds in, beating Street from right in front. Rose followed suit with a shot on the doorstep that Street once again was hopeless on. Geneseo now had their two goal lead.
Street kept the game close on the next Geneseo power play when he made a miraculous dive across the net to stop a sure open net goal.
However, Street couldn’t do anything when Geneseo made it 5-2 at 12:44. Balog, left alone in the slot area, was fed by Brandon French from behind the net and wristed a shot easily by Street. Street was replaced by Kody Van Rentergem after that goal.
Van Rentergem didn’t let up another goal, but Geneseo did score again. It was an empty netter, as Brown shot it from the red line just under the crossbar.
Cory Gershon got the win with 26 saves.
“I thought he was strong,” Schultz said. “He looked a little shaky at times playing the simple pucks, but other than that he was pretty good positionally. He gave our team an opportunity to win, and that’s all you can ask.”
Geneseo (9-3-1,5-2-1) takes a break between semesters. The Ice Knights are tied for second place and next play on January 9 at non conference foe Utica.
Fredonia (4-5-3,2-4-2) travels to play the USA Under-18 Team on December 11 in an exhibition game before taking their break.