Geneseo nearly blew another third period lead, but this time hung on to defeat Potsdam, 4-3.
The Ice Knights scored four first-period goals, the first two on the power play, to take a 4-1 lead into the final period.
The win enabled Geneseo to grab two very important SUNYAC points. This jumps Geneseo over Potsdam by a point and puts them in a tie with Fredonia for fourth place after the Blue Devils dropped their contest to Oswego, 10-2.
“We have a tired team. We have a hurt team,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We have eight guys that can’t play the game right now. We got three career-ending injuries. There is a lot of adversity we’re going through. It does take a toll the longer the game goes. I don’t have an answer for it, but I know when it comes down to it, we have to be better carrying momentum in the third period.”
“A classic example of not being ready to play on the road,” Potsdam coach Chris Bernard said. “We got out-competed in someone else’s building in the first period. As a result, we took penalties and they scored on the power play and that put us behind the 8-ball.”
Danny Scagnelli got the scoring started on the first power play at 5:24, pinching in from the point to put in a rebound from the left side
Three minutes later, Potsdam tied it up when Bill Tsekos put one in from the left slot area.
However, the Bears got themselves into penalty trouble, finding themselves two men down. Geneseo took advantage at 13:29 when Ryan Bulach put a rebound in from the side by banking it off the goaltender.
Corbin Rosmarin found himself in the slot with the puck and no one bothering him. He took his time to pick a spot before roofing it over Kevin McFarland’s glove at 16:20.
The first period scoring was finished off by Justin Scharfe a couple of minutes later. He swooped in to get a rebound on the left side and deposited it into the unguarded near side for the 4-1 lead.
After a scoreless second period, Potsdam started the third period on the power play, but could not convert.
“I think our power play has moved it well, but unless you get results, it doesn’t matter,” Bernard said. “Our power play fell short tonight in getting us big goal opportunities in the third period. To start the third, that was a critical kill for Geneseo. You have to make those count if you want to be in the playoffs in this league.”
The power play finally came through the next time. Good movement of the puck put Mike Arnold at the right circle near the line. Despite the difficult angle, he had time to find a hole to place it at 4:20.
The Bears cut the lead to one at 9:56. Vinny Buttitta from behind the net fed Dan McCamey in the slot who wristed it by Cory Gershon.
McFarland helped keep the Bears in the game after they fell behind in the first ending up with 24 saves.
“We’re proud of what [McFarland has] done here,” Bernard said. “He battled all night and I think that was indicative of our team — he got stronger as the night went on. I don’t think you can fault him for anything.”
Gershon made 28 saves, none more important than stopping Arnold’s shorthanded breakaway in the waning minutes.
Potsdam then pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, and with six seconds left, the puck wound up on the goal line, but the Bears could not whack it across.
“I give Gershon a lot of credit today because he came up with a huge save on that breakaway,” Schultz said. “I give our penalty kill a ton of credit tonight and our power play a ton of credit for putting numbers on the board.”
Geneseo (12-10-1, 6-7-1 SUNYAC) stays home to face Plattsburgh, while Potsdam (8-12-2, 6-7-0 SUNYAC) travels up the road against Brockport. The Bears are two points ahead of the Golden Eagles for the last playoff spot.