Potsdam scored four unanswered goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into an eventual 7-3 victory over Brockport. James Cody’s hat trick was not enough for the visiting Golden Eagles. The Bears outshot Brockport, 61-20.
“We came out and played strong in the first period,” Potsdam head coach Chris Bernard said. “I thought we got some timely goals. We gave a 60-minute effort for the first time in awhile.”
“I’m kind of flabbergasted right now,” Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson said. “I thought we had a great week of practice. First period kind of back and forth. Kind of got away from us there in the second. For 15 minutes, I thought Potsdam did a great job transitioning, getting up the ice, spreading us out, getting a lot of good looks on our goaltender.”
Potsdam came out flying at the start of the game, outshooting Brockport, 8-2 at one point in the first period, and 22-7 at the end of the period. Kevin MacLellan missed a breakaway after making two superb moves, went around the goalie, but somehow put it wide.
All the early effort for Potsdam went for naught when Brockport scored first at 1:49. From in close, the Golden Eagles caught Trevor O’Neill sprawling, allowing James Cody to slide it by him.
It took almost to the midway point of the opening period before Potsdam’s hard work finally paid off. Todd Hosmer’s shot was saved by Joe Reagan. The rebound came right out to Mike Foy at the left slot. He placed his shot into the far upper corner.
“Just nobody picked up,” Dickinson said. “Joe made two, three saves before they bang in the fourth opportunity.”
Brockport retook the lead on a shorthanded tally. Matt Rhymer made a terrible decision to try and dive to keep the puck in the zone. He missed, and this allowed Cody to go in on an easy breakaway. He skated straight at O’Neill and fired a forehand wrister that blew by the goalie at 12:52.
Potsdam found themselves tied after one despite their effort.
“We’ve done that at different points in the year for stretches and been down on the scoreboard and folded the tent,” Bernard said. “I just said ‘Hey listen it’s a 60-minute game and we have to focus on playing that way for the next 40 minutes and then we’ll see where it gets us.'”
The Bears didn’t waste any time at the start of the second to take their first lead. Off the face off, they immediately put pressure on the Brockport net. Fraser Smith finally fired home a rebound from out front 21 seconds in.
“We didn’t do a great job backchecking on that first goal in the second period,” Dickinson said.
Four minutes later, Matt Viola made it 4-2. He took the face off deep in Brockport’s zone, and fired it as soon as the puck was dropped, catching Reagan off guard.
Cody got the hat trick to cut the lead to 5-3 at 17:40 on a difficult angle shot that sneaked by O’Neill.
“He’s obviously a dominate player at our level,” Dickinson said. “I don’t how it went in, but goal scorers find a way to get it done. He’s having another fantastic year.”
“Obviously we circled Cody on the game sheet going in, but we didn’t contain him the way we wanted to,” Bernard said
“Once we got it to 5-3, I thought we would be okay,” Dickinson said. “We started playing hard. The power play just didn’t click.”
Sy Nutkevitch put the game away at 13:04 on a two-on-one. He kept the puck on the right side, blasting a slapper past Reagan.
Despite the three-goal margin, Brockport still pulled their goalie. Potsdam cleared the puck, but instead of going all the way down the ice, it hit a rut, slowing it down. This allowed Brandon Couto to win the race, and he poked it into the empty net.
“About what I thought—two desperate hockey teams looking for points,” Dickinson said.
Potsdam (5-11-1 overall, 3-6-0 in SUNYAC) stays home to face Geneseo tomorrow.
Brockport (3-13-1, 1-8-0) travels to the northeast corner of the state to play No. 13 Plattsburgh.