SUNYAC Wrap: Feb. 14

What Does It All Mean?
First, let’s talk about what we do know after the penultimate weekend of the regular season.
Oswego will finish first, but we knew that last week. Fredonia will finish sixth — yes, Cortland can tie them, but Fredonia won both match ups this year, and thus would win the tiebreaker. Buffalo State (they lose the tiebreaker to Geneseo), Plattsburgh and Fredonia will not get a bye and will have to compete in the play-in round. Cortland, Potsdam, and Brockport will not make the playoffs.
The exact order of second through fifth, one first round bye (between Geneseo and Morrisville), and home playoff berths are all up in the air. This past weekend should have settled some of it, but huge upsets kept the middle as muddled as ever.
Geneseo could have wrapped up second place and that last bye, but they were stunned by Brockport, 3-2, despite outshooting the Golden Eagles, 43-28. Even odder, Geneseo had the shot advantage in the second period, 21-10, but Brockport scored the only two goals of that period.
Rich Manley did give Geneseo the initial lead in the first on a power play. Justin Noble and James Cody scored the two second period goals. The Ice Knights tied it up on a Zachary Vit goal 1:26 into the third. However, Chris Berardini won it for Brockport at 9:40. Oliver Wren made 41 saves for the win.
Imagine what Buffalo State was thinking after Friday night. They upset Plattsburgh — though according to the standings, it’s not really an upset — 4-3, and are all giddy, figuring no way Morrisville can keep pace. Then, the Mustangs go out the next day and shock Oswego, 5-2. Though Morrisville and Buffalo State remain tied for third (one point ahead of Plattsburgh), Morrisville has two games left to the Bengals’ one.
Morrisville always seems to play well at Oswego. They opened a 2-0 lead on goals by Taylor Vince and Bobby Cass, but Paul Rodrigues got one back with 28 seconds left in the first period. Not at all deterred, Morrisville regained the two-goal lead when Tyler Swan scored midway through the second.
The Mustangs came out in the third period to make a statement and Jamie Nelson scored at 1:11. Justin Fox got it back on the power play three minutes later and Relkoff shut the door the rest of the way, winding up with 37 saves on the night. James Jarvis got the clincher with eight minutes left.
Back in Buffalo, the Bengals only got 16 shots on net, but then Plattsburgh only got off 28. After the first period, the score was 3-2; after the second it was 4-3. The third period went scoreless, with only seven total shots on net.
The teams alternated scoring in the first, with Buffalo State leading it off. Shane Avery, Trevor McKinney, and Mac Balson scored those three goals. Plattsburgh’s goals came on the power play by Dylan Clarke and Kyle Kudroch.
Anthony Orange gave Buffalo State the 4-2 lead on the power play while Clarke got it back also on the power play.
Other Highlights
– Fredonia lost their Pink the Rink game, 3-1, to Plattsburgh. The Cardinals scored first with 56 seconds left in the opening period on a goal by Dan Sliasis on the power play. After a scoreless second period, Mat Hehr tied it up for the home team on a power play. Kudroch scored the winning goal with 2:06 left, and Clarke got an empty-netter to clinch it.
– Buffalo State had a tougher time than most people thought they would in beating Potsdam, 3-1. The Bengals scored a goal in each period (Nick Petriello, Drew Klin, and Balson). Zack Juliano temporarily tied the game for the Bears in the second.
– The night before, Potsdam’s last shot at making the playoffs went down in a flaming heap, as Fredonia blasted them, 8-0. Steve Rizer led the way with two goals and an assist. Mark Friesen got the shutout with 27 saves.
– Morrisville also got a shutout Friday night, 4-0, over Cortland. Relkoff made 25 saves. Morrisville scored two goals in the second (Daniel Morello and Geoff Matzel on a short-hander) and two in the third (Tom Longland and Rob Sgarbossa).
SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: Nicholas Petriello, Buffalo State (F, Sr., St. Catharines, Ontario) helped the Bengals’ complete the season sweep against Plattsburgh and Potsdam and in the process became Buffalo State’s all-time leading scorer with 133 career points (52 goals, 81 assists), surpassing the previous record of 131 points. Petriello assisted on the Bengals third goal in a 4-3 victory over Plattsburgh and set the school scoring record when he netted the lone goal of the first period in the 3-1 win against Potsdam.
Rookie of the Week: Jamie Nelson, Morrisville (F, Stratford, Ontario) tallied a goal and assist in the 5-2 upset victory over No. 1 Oswego on Saturday. He scored his fourth of the season 1:11 into the third period to give Morrisville State the 4-1 lead over the Lakers and assisted on the Mustangs fifth score midway through the period to secure the conference victory.
Goaltender of the Week: Caylin Relkoff, Morrisville (Sr., Grand Forks, British Columbia) posted his second career shutout Friday, as he made 25 saves to secure the 4-0 conference win over Cortland. On Saturday, he posted 37 saves in the 5-2 upset victory over Oswego. On the week, he made 62 stops in 64 shots faced for a .969 save percentage, improving his record to 9-10-1 in net.