Potsdam Hands Plattsburgh First Conference Loss In Over Two Years; Buffalo State On A Roll
It’s been a long time since Plattsburgh State lost a SUNYAC contest, but Potsdam State’s 5-3 victory allows the race for first to remain very much open in the second half of the season. Potsdam and Oswego State now are tied for second, each just two points out, with Fredonia State trailing by three.
The week ended on a high for Potsdam as it defeated Norwich, 2-1. Plattsburgh came back to beat Amherst, 4-0, while Oswego, after beating Cortland State, 9-1, lost to Elmira, 3-1. Meanwhile, on the other end of the standings, Buffalo State positioned itself heading into the second semester for their first-ever playoff spot by shocking Fredonia, 3-2 in overtime, to continue a hot streak that has seen Buffalo win four out of six games.
PLATTSBURGH (Ranked No. 3) — The Cardinals came out flat in the big match at Potsdam, much to the chagrin of coach Bob Emery. “The game was lost before we hit the ice,” Emery said. “We were just standing around, and it was the worst warmup I can remember.”
Plattsburgh fell behind 3-1 after one period with the lone goal scored by Joe Dolci. Plattsburgh cut the lead to 3-2, and then 4-3 in the second period on goals by Mark Coletta and Jason Kilcan, the latter with a two-man advantage. But despite pulling the goalie for over a minute, Plattsburgh could not get the equalizer and eventually let in an empty-netter in the 5-3 loss. Plattsburgh bounced back later in the week with a 4-0 victory over Amherst. Goals were scored by Coletta, Brian Toussaint, Rob Retter, and Bobby Owen, and Niklas Sundberg got the shutout with 20 saves. Plattsburgh returns to action on January 5-6 in its own tournament, facing Hobart first and then either RIT or Colby.
OSWEGO (Ranked No. 9) — The Great Lakers split last week, winning the important game but losing the emotional one. Oswego pounded Cortland, 9-1, to remain in a second-place tie with Potsdam at the halfway mark. John Sullivan and Mike Lukajic got a pair of goals. Single tallies were registered by Steve Cavallaro, Nate Elliott, Joe Carrabs, Joe Pecoraro, and Chris DiCarlo as Oswego went 4 for 8 on the power play and Joe Lofberg made 22 saves for the win. Oswego’s big rematch against Elmira ended in a 3-1 loss. After a scoreless first period, Elmira took the lead at the 2:08 mark of the second. Oswego came right back 1:01 later to tie it up on a goal by Sullivan. Elmira scored later in the second, and sealed the win with its second power-play goal of the night in the third. Lofberg made 35 saves, but this time Oswego went 0 for 8 on the power play. After a lengthy midseason break, Oswego hosts Manhattanville on January 12.
POTSDAM (Ranked No. 7) — The Bears had perhaps their finest week of the season, ending the semester with a pair of huge victories. First, Potsdam came out flying at home against Plattsburgh to beat the first place team, 5-3. Then, Potsdam repeated their earlier victory against defending national champions, Norwich, this time in a 2-1 score. Brett Joly put Potsdam ahead against Plattsburgh midway through the first. Plattsburgh tied it up 41 seconds later. Potsdam came right back 58 seconds later when Erick Curtis scored. Dave Weagle’s power-play goal gave Potsdam a two-goal lead at the end of one. Joe Wlodarczyk gave Potsdam another two-goal lead on a power play midway through the second. Dave Weagle’s second goal of the night, an empty netter, sealed the win. Against Norwich, Potsdam won another thriller, this time 2-1. Chris Hesse scored first 4:03 into the game. The next goal didn’t come until 3:08 left in the game when the Cadets tied it up. Then, what looked to be a devastating tripping penalty taken by Potsdam’s Mike Smitko at the 17:32 mark, turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Dave Weagle scored the game winner — shorthanded — with just 1:52 left. Potsdam still has some games left before the year is out, barely. They compete in the Lever 2000/Shaw’s Holiday Tournament at New England College on December 30-31 facing Plymouth State and the host team.
FREDONIA — The Blue Devils’ second-place residence was short-lived as they were stunned by Buffalo State, 3-2 in overtime. Fredonia was always fighting from behind in this one — they tied the game at one on a goal by B.J. Bouschor in the second period, and again to force overtime with 1:51 left when Christian Fletcher scored. However, overtime doesn’t give you the opportunity to come back, and Fredonia let in the winner with 30 seconds left in the extra stanza. Will Hamele made 27 saves. Fredonia struggled again against a much weaker Plymouth State, but did manage to pull out the win, 2-1. Fredonia found themselves again down in this game when Fletcher tied it in the second. Tom Clohert got the game winner in the third. Hamele got the win with 15 saves. After the break, Fredonia gets back into action slowly with an exhibition game at Humber on January 10.
GENESEO — The Ice Knights went on a scoring rampage last week, turning the red light on 23 times in three games. First, they disposed of Brockport with ease, 5-0, giving coach Paul Duffy his 350th career win. Jason Gurnett scored twice with Pat McKendry, David Bagley, and Tony Scorsone scoring once. Kevin Koury got the shutout with 20 saves. In the first game of the Hamilton Invitational, Geneseo’s offense continued to maintain pace, but the score was a lot closer as they beat Hobart, 6-5. Geneseo took a 4-1 lead on goals by Aaron Coleman, Jack Staley, Gurnett, and Matt Lester. Geneseo then held a commending 6-2 lead with additional goals by Jason Burgess and Jack Staley. However, Hobart scored three goals in the latter part of the third period, but Geneseo held on for the win. Koury made 18 saves. In the championship game, Geneseo obliterated New England College, 12-3. This high will have to last till January 10, which is when the Ice Knights play again when they host Elmira.
BUFFALO STATE — The Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the SUNYAC right now, having won three of their last four games, and four of their last six. The biggest win of them all came against Fredonia, 3-2 in overtime, on the road. Jeff Lacapruccia gave Buffalo State the lead in the first. He gave the Bengals the lead again in the second. Joe Urbanik won the game with 30 seconds left in overtime. The win gave Buffalo State a share of sixth place, just two points behind fifth. Buffalo State kept on rolling pounding Plymouth State, 10-1. Lacapruccia scored another two goals. Josh Bluman also scored twice, 45 seconds apart. Mark Yoder and Rocky Reeves scored shorthanded goals. Nick Berti just missed the shutout by 3:53 and ended up making 26 saves. In Buffalo State’s short hockey history, they have perhaps never looked forward to the second semester as much as this year. But they’re not done with the first semester as they host a pair of games against Neumann this weekend.
CORTLAND — Cortland’s lone game last week was one they would like to forget, losing to Oswego, 9-1. The Red Dragons didn’t get on the scoreboard until it was 7-0 nearly midway through the third. Brad Reynolds scored that solitary goal. Cortland let in four power-play goals. Mark Paine had a miserable night in goal being yanked after letting up the first three goals on just three shots. John Larnerd finished the job with 24 saves. Cortland hosts Humber in an exhibition game on January 6.
BROCKPORT — Brockport’s disappointing first semester hit its nadir when they lost to Geneseo, 5-0. This left the Golden Eagles winless in conference play with just one point, having scored only nine goals in seven league games. Brockport hoped to bounce back in their own Jimmy Mac Invitational, and they did beat the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), 4-3, breaking an 11-game winless streak, but then lost to Skidmore, 5-4 in overtime. In the MCLA game, after Dave Braunstein gave Brockport an early 1-0 lead, Adam Prescott gave them another edge on a shorthanded goal. Prescott and Stephen Howard gave Brockport a 4-2 lead after the second period, and Tom Payment made 29 saves for the win. The Skidmore game was a see-saw affair as Skidmore led 1-0; Brockport took a 2-1 lead (Don Stiner and Steve Falcone scored); Skidmore took a 3-2 lead; Brockport tied it up (Jeffrey Everhart); Skidmore took the lead again; Brockport tied it up one last time (Darren Kennedy); and finally, Skidmore won it 4:18 into overtime. Payment made 38 saves. Prescott and Payment made the All-Tournament team. Brockport gets back on the ice at New England College on January 9.
Game Of The Week
With one pairing scheduled twice, and not a really exciting matchup at that, we’ll bypass such a tough decision. We’ll be back next week for a midseason review before we too take a holiday break.