BUFFALO, N.Y. — Christmas may be over, but the red light was flashing in quick bursts in Buffalo State’s Ice Arena. Buffalo State and Adrian scored three goals within 30 seconds, two of them within eight seconds, in the second period and three goals within 62 seconds, two of them within nine seconds, in the third period.
Adrian wound up erasing a three-goal third period deficit for a 7-5 victory, scoring five unanswered goals as they did their best imitation of the Russian National Junior Team.
Josh Cousineau scored the winning goal with 1:18 left in the game and Jordan Watts added an empty netter with four seconds left. It was Watts second of the night as Brad Houston and Shawn Skelly also scored two apiece.
“I know we can score goals. and we can score in bunches,” Adrian head coach Ron Fogarty said.”It was not [Brad] Fogal’s best game tonight, but we were resilient. It was a huge win for our program.”
“Collapse and breakdown in a lot of areas,” Buffalo State head coach Nick Carriere said. “Adrian College has a lot of skilled players. Through the first and second periods, we didn’t allow that to factor in too much because we didn’t give them too much of those opportunities. In the third period, we gave them breakaway after breakaway and allowed those guys to showcase their ability to execute.”
The winning goal came on a terrible mistake by Kevin Carr. As the puck was wrapped around the back of the goal, Carr went out to play. He was slow getting back into the net as if he lost sight of the puck. It was along the left boards where Cousineau picked it up and saw an open net, albeit at a difficult angle. However, he didn’t miss, and though Carr was getting back, he was in no position to make a save.
Teams got into penalty trouble early and often. For Buffalo State’s Shane Avery, his game lasted a whole 5:07 before he got a major and game misconduct for hitting from behind.
After successfully killing off the five-minute penalty, Buffalo State soon went on their second power play. This time, they converted. They got the puck down low and Trevor McKinney jammed it in at 12:28.
Four minutes later, McKinney did it again from inside the crease. Fogal made the initial save going towards his left, but overskated the puck, leaving the rebound in the crease. Though he tried desperately to reach back to cover it, McKinney pounced on it first, pushing it across the goal line.
Adrian started the second period with a two-man advantage, and it paid off in 17 seconds. Shawn Skelly fired a shot from the left point that sailed past Carr.
The Bengals got their own five-on-three, but despite a number of close calls, including Nick Petriello smashing the post with a shot from the point, Adrian was able to escape unscathed.
Then, starting at 9:15, the red light got exercised three times in 30 seconds.
The Bulldogs tied the game when for the first time they outskated Buffalo State, forcing them to run around in their own zone. This enabled Bobby Hineman from the left boards to find a wide open Brad Houston in the right slot. Houston had all the time in the world, but released a quick one-timer wrist shot to beat Carr near side.
Before Adrian could enjoy getting back into the game, it was the Zannella and Petriello show.
Buffalo State took the center ice face off and rushed into the zone as Nick Petriello fed Mike Zannella who slid it past Fogal just eight seconds after Adrian had tied the game.
Fogarty switched goaltenders, yanking Fogal in favor of Mike Morissette. That strategy lasted 22 seconds and one shot.
This time Zannella fed Petriello in the right slot and his one-timer slapshot blasted by Morissette.
Fogarty then pulled Morissette and put Fogal back in.
“I wanted to talk with Fogal and then I wanted to get him right back in there,” Fogarty said. “So I put Mike in there and they capitalized on it.”
Adrian also called time out, and their Eric Miller did most of the talking, laying into his team.
“Eric Miller called a time out,” Fogarty said. “I didn’t call it. He called it and took ownership and tried to get the guys going.”
When play resumed, Buffalo State took every opportunity to shoot pucks at the shaky Fogal, but Fogal was able to steer them all aside.
The third period outburst began early at 1:40. Drew Klin in front of the crease received a pass from Petriello, easily beating Fogal. Just when it appeared Buffalo State had scored the clincher to make it 5-2, Adrian came roaring back.
Nine seconds later, again right off the center ice face off, the Bulldogs got it back. They caught Buffalo State napping, find a gap in their defense, and Houston beat Carr for his second of the night.
“Down 5-2, it was big goal by Brad Houston to get us right back to 5-3 nine seconds after they scored,” Fogarty said.
Fifty-three seconds later, Adrian cut the lead to one on a picture perfect breakaway goal by Skelly. He skated straight in, went left, and shot back to his right.
Watts scored the tying goal with 4:58 left in regulation when he jammed in a loose puck under the pads of Carr.
Adrian (10-3, 7-1) returns to conference play with a pair of home games against MSOE next weekend.
Buffalo State (6-6-2, 4-2-2) has a few days off before they host Hobart on Tuesday.