An undisciplined penalty by Potsdam which carried over into overtime enabled Hamilton to defeat the Bears 3-2 Sunday night.
With 42.9 seconds left in regulation and long after a whistle stopped play, Matt Thompson slammed a Hamilton player to the ice in front of the goal. Thompson was called for roughing and Hamilton went on their ninth power play of the game.
“We got kids who want to play on the edge with intensity, but not over the line,” Potsdam coach Chris Bernard said. “Unfortunately, that was an example of a play that doesn’t serve a purpose. He’s not the only guy to take an undisciplined penalty. It just so happened to be at a critical time. It’s tough to overcome when you’re your worst enemy.”
The penalty actually expired (though for some reason, Thompson never left the box) before Hamilton scored, but the pressure in the zone with the extra man helped set up the winning goal by Evan Haney at 1:20.
“We got a puck to the net, Evan Haney was in front and he just slammed it home,” Hamilton coach Rob Haberbusch said. “We’re struggling a little bit on the PP and we’ve been trying to keep it simple, fire pucks and be there for rebounds.”
The game saw a lot of penalties, initially by Potsdam and then by Hamilton. In total, there were 19 penalties for 57 minutes with Hamilton failing on all nine of their power plays including a major and Potsdam going two-for-seven
Despite all the man-advantage time, it took until midway through the second period before someone scored, and it was not on a power play.
Hamilton broke a 97:22 scoring drought at 9:21 of the middle period when Haney put in a second rebound after a flurry of shots from in close.
Six minutes later, Hamilton took a 2-0 lead on a controversial shorthanded breakaway. Pat Curtis went in alone with his initial attempt stopped by Jon Hall. Curtis crashed the net, knocking the puck over the line while the net popped up in the air and back down. One referee emphatically waved off the goal.
However, after discussing it, the other referee pointed at the center circle to indicate a goal.
Hamilton started getting into penalty trouble, allowing Potsdam to score late in the second and early in the third with the man-advantage to knot the game.
The first came with 9.7 seconds left in the second when Billy Pascalli sent in a rebound with a scramble in the crease.
At 1:15 of the third, Adam Place fired a shot from the left point through traffic that sailed over Joe Quattrocchi’s shoulder.
The remainder of the third period remained relatively penalty free until Thompson’s game-deciding infraction.
“We had a tough night last night [an 8-0 loss at Oswego],” Haberbusch said. “We were just looking to regroup here and compete for 60 minutes and I felt like we did that, so I was happy with the effort.”
“Back and forth, up and down, a lot of changes of momentum throughout the game,” Bernard said. “It’s just painful coming out on the short side of it.”
Quattrocchi made 30 saves for the win.
Hall, coming back from an injury in the first semester, stopped 37.
“He’s proven he’s a battler, getting back on track,” Bernard said.