The two rivalry games lived up to their reputation and hype. Perhaps too much so, as both ended up in a tie.
“It’s turning into a real special rivalry,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said after a 3-3 tie with Buffalo State.
After a scoreless first period, Buffalo State scored twice within 46 seconds. Clay Lewis fired a one-timer slap shot from the right point off a rebound. Then, James Durham redirected a centering pass from Drew Klin.
“We didn’t play very well in the first period,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said. “It took us some time to get going. The second period, we started getting back to our game plan.”
Three minutes later, Brad Nunn got one back off a bouncing puck in front of the net.
The Bengals regained a two-goal lead with a short-handed tally by Justin Knee. However, Buffalo State missed two other short-handed breakaways later in the game.
“That was the difference,” Carriere said. “We’re all about opportunities.”
Justin Wynia scored a power-play goal off a perfect deflection near the end of the second period to once again pull within one.
“Converting on that power play was huge for us,” Meredith said. “It got us back to within one, and now we can settle back down and play some hockey.”
Bryan Ross tied the game at 5:29 of the final period from a difficult angle over the goalie’s shoulder.
“It was a fun game to coach in,” Meredith said. “I wish we had 25 like this.”
Meanwhile, up in Plattsburgh, the two top teams in the league fought to a 2-2 tie. Oswego led 1-0 and 2-1. with no goals coming in the final 37:39 of the game, despite 18 third-period shots by Plattsburgh. Only three penalties were called in the entire game.
Jon Whitelaw scored first at 9:16 of the first, the lone goal of the opening period. Paul Publisi tied it 1:16 in the second, but Chris Ayotte put the Lakers back on top at 6:06. Alex Jensen tied it again at 7:21.
Andrew Hare made 35 saves for Oswego, and Mathiew Cadieux stopped 34 shots for Plattsburgh.
So, when it was all over, neither of these four teams were able to gain on each other after these crucial match-ups.
– “Crazy” is how Brockport coach Brian Dickinson described their wild 7-6 win over Morrisville. Seven goals were scored in the third period, including two Brockport goals within 27 seconds. Brockport opened the scoring with two goals within 28 seconds. Ian Finnerty got two goals and two assists for the winners. Jonathan Cristini and Todd Hosmer each scored twice for the losing side.
– The night before, Morrisville lost another close one, this time to Geneseo, 4-3. The Ice Knights led 2-0 after one, and Morrisville tied it 2-2 after two. The teams exchanged third period power-play goals, with Geneseo getting the first. Rich Manley won the game with 55 seconds left.
– After letting up the first goal, Potsdam scored five straight to beat Cortland, 5-1. Mike Arnold scored twice, including a short-hander. Dylan Ellis stopped 35 shots.
– Plattsburgh also scored five straight goals to beat Cortland, 6-1. Adam Bevilacqua tied the game for the Red Dragons on a short-handed tally before Plattsburgh went on its spree. Kyle Taylor scored twice, and Vick Schlueter capped the scoring with a short-hander.
– Potsdam put a bit of a scare in Oswego, despite being outshot, 53-27. Oswego led 2-0 and 3-1, but Potsdam tied the game. After Oswego once again took a two-goal lead with Tyler Leimbrock netting both of them, Potsdam got one back. It took an empty-netter to finally put the game away. Trevor Cope got two for Potsdam.