Potsdam, Plattsburgh Defeat Norwich; Oswego Wins Manchester PAL Cup; Geneseo Sweeps
The two SUNYAC schools in the Primelink Shootout both beat defending national champion Norwich. Potsdam State won 4-3, and Plattsburgh State 6-1. However, both lost to host and tournament champion Middlebury by identical 3-0 scores.
Oswego State won the Manchester PAL Cup, defeating Southern Maine, 6-4, and St. Anselm, 9-3. Geneseo State didn’t compete in a tournament, but did play two games, both wins, 4-2 over Manhattanville and 7-2 over Skidmore. Other highlights included Cortland State defeating Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 3-2 in overtime, and Brockport State tying Bowdoin, 3-3.
PLATTSBURGH — The Cardinals went into the Primelink Shootout ranked No. 1 in the country with a chance to solidify that slot as they faced some of the top teams in the polls.
Unfortunately for Plattsburgh State, they stumbled the first night, losing to Middlebury, 3-0, only getting 11 shots on net. Niklas Sundberg made 31 saves, and held Middlebury off the scoreboard for the first 35 minutes. Plattsburgh bounced back in the consolation game defeating defending national champions, Norwich, 6-1. Bryan Murray got a pair of goals. Guy Come, Jason Kilcan, Brendon Hodge, and Mark Coletta also scored. Sundberg again made 31 saves, this time for the win. Murray made the All-Tournament team. Plattsburgh gets back to league play hosting Cortland and Oswego.
OSWEGO — The Great Lakers won the Manchester PAL Cup by defeating Southern Maine, 6-4, and St. Anselm, 9-3. In the first game, Oswego State had to fend off a 2-0 first period deficit. Oswego took a 3-2 lead on goals by Mike Lukajic, Derek Kern, and Lukajic again. After Southern Maine tied the game, Oswego scored three times again by John Sullivan, Joe Pecoraro, and Kern. Joe Lofberg only needed to make 13 saves for the win. The second night, it was Oswego that took the 2-0 lead en route to the victory. Lukajic, Sullivan, Steve Cavallaro scored a pair of goals. Craig Bland, Joe Carrabs, and Jonathon Hoose got a goal apiece. Tyson Gajda made 22 saves. Oswego travels to Potsdam and Plattsburgh for two key conference games.
POTSDAM — The Bears made a big jump in the polls to number 8 after beating Norwich, 4-3, in the first round of the Primelink Shootout. Potsdam State tied the game in the first period on a goal by Brian Rice. They tied it again in the second period on a shorthanded breakaway by Jeff Milroy with just 19 seconds left. The Bears took the lead on a Mike McCabe powerplay goal. After Norwich tied the game, Potsdam scored the game winner on Rice’s second goal of the night, with a one handed shot. Ryan Venturelli made 23 saves. The Bears than ran into the Middlebury juggernaut losing the championship game, 3-0, only getting 10 shots on goal. Despite that, Venturelli’s 26 saves combined with the previous night’s effort was good enough to be named to the All-Tournament team along with Rice. Potsdam hosts Oswego and Cortland this weekend.
FREDONIA — The Blue Devils had the week off. They return to action hosting Geneseo and Brockport.
CORTLAND — The Red Dragons played two superb games in the Babson Invitational, nearly coming away with the title against the host team. First, they had to squeeze by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 3-2, in overtime. Greg Menchen gave Cortland State a first period lead, and Mike Schall gave them a second period lead. MCLA tied the game early in the third period. Overtime lasted for 9:23 before Jeff Olsen won it for the Red Dragons. Mark Paine made 29 saves including five in overtime. Against Babson in the championship game, Cortland tied it in the second period on a goal by Tim Kneer. After Babson took a 4-1 lead, Cortland staged a comeback with Scott Louis and Olsen scoring, but could not get the equalizer, losing 4-3. John Larnerd made 30 saves. Earlier in the week, Cortland lost to Skidmore, 6-5. Cortland has another opportunity to prove themselves as they travel to Plattsburgh and Potsdam.
GENESEO — The Ice Knights played a pair of games on the road, and swept them beating Manhattanville, 4-2, and Skidmore, 7-2. Geneseo State found themselves down early in the game until Tony Scorsone tied it. After Manhattanville took an early second period lead, a pair of goals by Peter Boudette, the game winner with 1:39 left, and an empty netter by Scorsone gave the Ice Knights the win. Kevin Koury made 29 saves. Geneseo had an easier time against Skidmore. Seven different players scored — Jack Staley, Brian Avery, Matt Lester, Derek Powell, Scott Gifis, Aaron Coleman, Pat McKendry, and Jason Gurnett. Koury made 34 saves. Geneseo plays three games on the road this week at Hobart, Fredonia, and Buffalo State.
BROCKPORT — The Golden Eagles competed in the Colby/Bowdoin Faceoff Classic which had a preset format. The first night, Brockport State lost to Colby, 4-1, but the score did not indicate how close the game was. Brockport’s lone goal was scored by Christian Christensen on a power play that tied the game. With Colby holding a 2-1 lead, Brockport pulled their goalie only to let up two empty-netters, the first on a power play, the second shorthanded. Tom Payment made 39 saves. The second night, Brockport played to a 3-3 tie against Bowdoin. Brockport jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Darren Kennedy and Drew Morley. Brandon Marineau gave Brockport a 3-1 lead 7:41 into the third period. The Golden Eagles could not hold on for the upset, allowing Bowdoin to score twice in the final 6-1/2 minutes. Payment made 32 saves. Brockport travels to Buffalo State and Fredonia.
BUFFALO STATE — The Bengals got to eat turkey with their families. Buffalo State gets back into action with home games against Brockport and Geneseo.
Game of the Week
Oswego at Potsdam. Whenever these two teams get together, you can be guaranteed to have a thriller. They seem to always hold the most exciting playoff series, including last year’s amazing semifinal round that saw Potsdam score three times with their goalie pulled to eke out a miracle. That game overshadowed a regular season contest that didn’t see anyone score a goal till the waning minutes despite end to end action. This is the first time they play each other since that playoff game, and to add fuel to the fire, it will be for second place.