College Hockey:
Fredonia, Potsdam Battle to Tie

— For the second year in a row, Potsdam’s trip to Western New York resulted in two ties. Fredonia scored the only power play of the night with 4:22 left in the third period to tie the game, 2-2. After an exciting overtime, neither team was able to win the game.

The third period saw most of the action, as Potsdam scored two quick goals to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, only to have Fredonia tie the game late.

“Our guys played well,” Potsdam coach Aaron Saul said. “It was back and forth. Our effort was there, and I was happy with it.”

“To go down in a blink of an eye, 2-1, and then be able to battle back, to be able to tie it, is encouraging,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “And then the shift right after you tie it and you take a penalty and you are staring down the barrel of a 47 percent power play [in the last five games] that hasn’t scored yet on the evening. And you know the numbers are getting ready to catch up to you. Our guys did a real nice job of killing it.”

Potsdam tied the game 47 seconds into the third on a wild scramble in front. Potsdam missed a number of chances, including a few open net opportunities. However, they continued to whack at the loose puck, and it eventually came out to the slot area. Connor Treacy backhanded the loose puck over Pat Street’s blocker. The play started on an unforced error as Fredonia lost control of the puck trying to clear their zone.

“That goal was the direct result of guys going to the net,” Saul said.

The Bears got what could have been a back-breaker, scoring a short-handed goal while two men down. Colin MacLennan poked the puck away from the defenseman along the left boards, skated in, cut to the middle, and then picked the near upper corner on a wrist shot. It is MacLennan’s third short-handed goal this season.

“He’s outstanding with his stick,” Saul explains MacLennan’s shorthanded success. “He’s not the fastest guy on the team, but he’s a smart player who can anticipate. He did a great job poking that puck away, using his ‘blistering’ speed to out-skate the back-checker and score that huge short-handed goal.”

“We’re not scoring goals right now, so if we’re going to be in any games, we need to get something down the other end,” Meredith said of the defensive errors.

Fredonia kept the pressure on, and with their final power play knotted the game. It all started with a massive check behind the net that left a Potsdam player a bit stunned and other players standing around looking for the puck.

The puck ended up deflecting to the front of the net, where Matt McKeown knocked it past Trevor O’Neill.

Shortly afterwards, Potsdam got a power play, but despite heavy pressure, the closest they came was smacking the post.

The overtime period produced a number of opportunities for Fredonia, as they outshot Potsdam 9-2 and continued to crash the net just like the first 60 minutes. The Blue Devils best chance came on a crossing pass, but the Fredonia attacker whiffed with the net open.

“Any time a team is struggling offensively, they start crashing the net looking for rebounds,” Saul said. “We knew they were going to be doing that.”

Fredonia got on the board first in the opening period with a blue-collar type goal. An attempted stuff-in was stopped by O’Neill. However, he could not cover the rebound, and Chris de Bruyn was able to stuff it in himself at 2:39.

O’Neill wound up with 47 saves while Street made 41 stops.

Potsdam (5-9-5, 2-4-4) returns home for a single game next weekend against Morrisville. Fredonia (4-10-4, 2-5-3) hits the road with games at Oswego and Cortland.

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