BUFFALO, N.Y. — It was Score a Power Play Goal Night at the Buffalo State Ice Arena. Buffalo State and Potsdam played to a wild 6-6 tie where eight of the goals were scored with the man advantage, including five of the six second period tallies.
Buffalo State came into the game with a league leading 32.1% power play efficiency in conference play, upping that by going four for eight. Potsdam went four for nine. Defenseman Scott Voisin led the way for the Bears scoring a hat trick while Jason Hill got a goal and three assists for the Bengals.
Ironically, it would be the inability for Buffalo State to score on a major penalty in overtime that enabled the game to remained tied.
“They [Buffalo State] got a couple of quick ones, and we didn’t quit,” Potsdam coach Aaron Saul said. “It was good to see us finally comeback. The guys didn’t quit. The effort was there tonight, so we’re happy about that.”
“They [Potsdam] did a nice job of putting pucks behind us and getting physical with us and really getting some opportunities,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said.
Potsdam came flying off the bus to control virtually the entire first period. However, the one portion of time Buffalo State took command enabled the Bengals to take the first lead.
This came after Buffalo State was able to turn the momentum around on their first power play. Though they did not score, they continued applying pressure eventually putting the puck into the net. Joe Curry took a shot from the right side which Travis Crickard stopped. However, the rebound came out to the other side where Kerry Barchan was able to knock the puck into the near side at 16:22.
Scott Voisin committed that penalty, but redeemed himself 41 seconds later, tying the game for the Bears. A rebound from Todd Hosmer’s shot came out to the top of the right face off circle. Voisin moved in and fired a one-timer blast that blew by Zach Grasley.
“I knew the guys were ready as soon as they stepped off the bus,” Saul said.
“I think we were a little jittery coming out of our own end,” Carriere said. “In the second period, I think we did a little better job of simplifying that aspect.”
After a fast paced but low scoring first period, the second period turned into a scoring fest. However, when the second period was all said and done, the game remained deadlocked at four apiece.
It all got started with two power play tallies by the Bengals within 1:23 in the first quarter of the period. Kevin Kozlowski netted the first one on a blast from the top of the right face off circle. Tyler Soehner followed that goal with a shot from the right point through a screen.
“We wanted to continue what we were doing,” Carriere said. “Then we get into taking some individual selfish type penalties. Then you are just giving a team with a bunch of skilled guys more opportunities. We gave them opportunities we shouldn’t have given them.”
Then, it was Potsdam’s turn to go on the power play binge as they scored two within 56 seconds and followed that up with an even strength goal 1:06 midway through the period after that to take their first lead, 3-2.
Adam Martinez started it off when the puck trickled in after getting caught up in Grasley’s feet. Voisin tied the game with his second of the night on a slapshot from the right point through a screen which Grasley never saw.
The only even strength score of the period came when sophomore Patrick Choules scored his first collegiate goal on a slap shot from the right point that went in off Grasley’s left pad. That completed the Bears three goal barrage within 2:02.
The Bengals retied the game with six minutes to go in the second on yet another power play goal. Kozlowski got his second on a shot that went over the outstretched left pad of Crickard.
Buffalo State took the lead again, 5-4, on, you guessed it, a power play tally at 5:11 of the third period. Nick Petriello swooped into the middle and placed a backhander past the goaltender.
Potsdam came back five minutes later when Voisin completed his hat trick during a 5-on-3. Jeff Zatorski’s shot from the right point was blocked in front, and it came out to the high point. Voisin was there to slap it in.
“He’s been steadily getting better and better,” Saul said of his defenseman. “We put him out on the power play, and he seems to be really good in that spot. Did I think he was going to score three tonight? Absolutely not, but he is pretty proud. I think that might have been his first career hat trick in his entire life.”
After one player came back to the ice, Potsdam took the lead, 6-5, on the other power play. Fraser Smith finally poked the puck in from the crease after the puck took some crazy bounces including off the post.
The lead didn’t last long as 1:09 later, Jason Hill tied it once again. Hill took a perfect pass from Ryan Ramage and fired it over Crickard’s glove.
The game was destined for overtime, but not without some drama. With 41 seconds left in regulation, Hosmer was called for a major for elbowing – contact to the head. After Potsdam nearly scored shorthanded, most of the overtime period would be played as a Buffalo State power play.
“We’ve been working on our penalty kill all week trying to kill Buff State’s power play,” Saul said. “I said to the guys before the overtime period, this is what we’ve been working on all week. It’s amazing we couldn’t kill a penalty in 60 minutes then in a five minute overtime we kill the whole thing. I was proud of our guys for that effort especially in that situation in that time in the game.”
The last face off took place with four seconds left, but the clock never ran. It seemed like no one wanted this thriller to end.
Buffalo State (8-8-2, 3-4-2) stays home to host Plattsburgh tomorrow night.
Potsdam (5-9-2, 2-4-3) heads further west on the Thruway to play Fredonia.