SUNYAC wrap: Jan. 31

A First For Cortland
“It’s like the WCHA of Division III, where everyone can beat anyone.”
Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said that last week before his game against Buffalo State. How prophetic he turned out to be, but not for his team.
Cortland had never beaten Plattsburgh in Plattsburgh. These two schools have been playing each other since the 1976-77 season. Thus, by de facto, Cortland never swept a North Country trip.
Now they have, in stunning fashion, with two completely different games. Cortland not only defeated Plattsburgh, they shut them out 2-0. The Red Dragons followed that win up with a thrilling, momentum-shifting, come-from-behind 7-6 overtime victory at Potsdam.
It took just 20 seconds for Cortland to stun the Plattsburgh crowd when Jarrett Gold scored.
“We had bad coverage on the play and you can’t give up a goal that early in a game,” Plattsburgh coach Bob Emery told the Press-Repulican.
To make matters worse, Cortland scored with six seconds left in the second period, thanks to Joey Christiano on a breakaway just as he left the penalty box.
“They had good timing on their second goal, and it’s one of those plays where nobody was at fault,” Emery said. “But, it’s a Cardinal sin to give up a goal early in the period and a goal late in the period.”
Plattsburgh poured it on in the final period, outshooting Cortland, 15-6 (and 40-16 for the game), and pulled their goalie for the last 1:33, but Brittan Kuhlman stopped every attempt for the shocking shutout.
“This was a bad, bad loss for us — it’s going to really hurt us,” Emery said.
Not so for Cortland. It was an historic win for their program and head coach Joe Baldarotta, and it will help them a lot.
Cortland most likely suffered the proverbial hangover the next night, falling behind 4-1 after the first period to Potsdam. Michael Lysyj tied the game at one, but then Colin MacLennan scored twice within 42 seconds to initially give the momentum to the Bears.
After Potsdam was done scoring three unanswered goals, Cortland scored four in a row in the second period, led off by Lysyj’s second, followed by Gold, and then two by Erik Nordqvist to take a 5-4 lead.
Potsdam then swung the game back to their favor with two straight scores in the middle of the third period for a 6-5 lead. Christiano then scored with 2:34 left in regulation to tie it.
A.J. Moyer won the game at 1:09 of overtime.
By the time the weekend was over, what looked to be a lost season for Cortland suddenly turned into a playoff race for them. The Red Dragons are now one point behind Fredonia (whom they already lost to twice) for the last playoff spot and two points behind Buffalo State (1-0-1 against the Bengals), albeit with the Western New York teams having a game in hand.
Yet, after this past weekend’s firsts, who knows what tricks Cortland has up their sleeves.
Other Highlights
– As hard as it is to fathom, Cortland’s feats overshadowed the huge Oswego-Plattsburgh showdown. Vick Schlueter scored twice on the power play in the first to give Plattsburgh the initial lead. Chris Laganiere in the first and Chris Muise on a second period power play tied the game. Ryan Craig gave the Cardinals their last lead early in the third on yet another power play. However, Jon Whitelaw and Luke Moodie (power play) won the game for the Lakers, 4-3.
– In a wild affair at Brockport, Morrisville came away with an 8-6 win. The Mustangs scored four power-play goals, each team got a short-handed goal, they combined for three goals in a 1:32 span, a two-goal combination within 26 seconds, and Brockport scored twice within 1:18. Oh, and there were no goals at all in the first period, and Brockport did not score on a penalty shot. A wild affair indeed.
– Not to feel left out, Fredonia and Buffalo State also took part in a high-scoring game which Fredonia won, 6-4. The Blue Devils led 3-0 and 5-1 before the Bengals put a scare into them. The first two goals were scored 15 seconds apart, and then the teams traded goals within 59 seconds. The teams combined for seven power-play goals.
– In a key game, Geneseo defeated Morrisville, 4-1, outshooting them 47-29. Carson Schell, Jonathan Redlick, and David Arduin twice on the power play gave the Ice Knights a 4-0 lead before Morrisville’s Rob Sgarbossa scored, all before the third period. Corey Gershon made 28 saves for the win. This puts Geneseo in second place by two points over Morrisville, but the Mustangs have a game in hand. The Ice Knights currently hold the tie-breaker.
– Oswego had no problems against Potsdam, rolling to an 8-1 win. Ian Boots scored twice, and Paul Beckwith made 30 saves.
– In the only nonconference game, Brockport was fired up for their Saves for a Cure event, tying Neumann, 2-2. After a scoreless first period, Pay Hayden gave the Golden Eagles the lead early in the second. When Neumann tied the game, Adam Schoff regained the lead for Brockport 1:35 later. An early third period goal locked it up again early in the third before a scoreless overtime. Oliver Wren made 41 saves.
SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: David Arduin, Geneseo (F, Jr., Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) scored a pair of power-play goals to lead Geneseo to a 4-1 SUNYAC win over visiting Morrisville Saturday afternoon. Arduin netted the first of his two goals at 15:30 of the first period and gave the Ice Knights a 4-0 lead at 6:15 of the second period with his ninth of the season.
Rookie of the Week: Taylor Vince, Morrisville (D, Barrie, Ontario) tallied two goals and two assists for Morrisville in the 8-6 victory over Brockport on Friday. He tied the game at 1-1 6:15 into the second period before assisting on back-to-back goals later in the period to give the Mustangs a 4-1 lead. Vince opened the third period with an unassisted goal for a 6-2 lead.
Goaltender of the Week: Brittan Kuhlman, Cortland (Jr., Omaha, Nebraska) turned aside 40 shots as Cortland posted its first-ever shutout of the Cardinals and its first-ever win at Plattsburgh. He preserved the shutout with 15 third-period saves. Kuhlman followed up with 31 saves in a come-from-behind overtime win at Potsdam the next night. For the weekend, he posted a 2-0 record with a .922 save percentage and a 2.97 GAA.