In The Cooler, which lived up to its name on a frigid day in Geneva, N.Y. with temperatures in the mid-teens, Hobart defeated Potsdam, 4-0, in a nonconference match up.
Martin Ausserhofer recorded his first career shutout, making 20 saves.
“He stayed in the shadow of Nick Broadwater for two years,” Hobart coach Mark Taylor said. “His opportunity was there and he took full advantage of it, and he’s done a great job. He has great numbers, he’s winning hockey games, and he got his first shutout. Nick had a great start here as Rookie of the Year and All League last year, and that’s tough for some guys to handle. Marty’s handled it first class.”
Hobart scored three goals in the second period, and then had to rely on its penalty kill to preserve the win.
“I thought we generated a lot of shots,” Taylor said. “I think they did a nice job not letting us get inside. I like the way we played for three periods. A couple of penalties were untimely.”
“They are a well-coached, disciplined, hard-working team,” Potsdam coach Chris Bernard said. “We’re thin right now. We’re playing really banged up, very injured. We had some key guys out. I thought we had a gutty effort, but I don’t think our execution was good enough to win.”
Rick Longobardi opened the scoring for the Statesmen at 5:56 of the second on a quick rush, beating McFarland over his glove.
Hobart doubled the lead on a power play at 12:34. Brad Richard deflected a Ryan Michel shot from the right point.
Tom Rush essentially sealed the game with 7.3 seconds left in the period to make it 3-0. It came off a wild scramble in front of the net, as McFarland was unable to freeze it with the puck bouncing every which way. It was eventually knocked in on what Potsdam felt was a high stick.
Potsdam had an excellent opportunity to get back into the game early in the third with a five-on-three for nearly three minutes. Despite controlling the puck for the majority of the time, Potsdam was unable to score. The closest it came was having the puck sit on the goal line, but nobody was able to knock it in before a defender cleared it.
The Bears had another golden opportunity when Hobart’s Greg Ciciola was called for a boarding major. However, once again the Statesmen penalty kill was up for the task. Potsdam went 0-for-8 on the power play.
“They have a very good power play, looking at 20 percent coming in,” Taylor said. “They can beat you if you give them too many power plays. I was happy with what we did there.”
Hobart put the game away when it got a two-man advantage power play. Richard’s shot from the left point sailed past McFarland at 16:15.
Hobart outshot Potsdam, 53-20, as McFarland made 49 saves in the losing effort.
Next weekend, Hobart (10-7-0) plays a home-and-home series against conference foe Utica.
Potsdam (6-10-2) returns to league action with a game at Plattsburgh on Friday.