In the waning minutes of the final regular season game, Geneseo starting goaltender Adrian Rubeniuk left with an injury. Geneseo was forced to go with its backup, Bryan Haude, to begin its playoff campaign.
All Haude did was stop every shot thrown his way while the offense got rolling in the second period en route to a 9-0 blowout over Potsdam on Wednesday, pouring 56 shots on net.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “There’s a great opportunity for Bryan when Ruby went down. We have our full trust in Bryan. He played a good game tonight.”
After a scoreless first period, the floodgates opened, starting with a relatively harmless penalty. Potsdam went on a power play early in the second period after controlling play, but it was immediately negated seven seconds later when Matt Viola committed a hooking call in the offensive zone.
That allowed Geneseo to catch its breath, and the Knights subsequently scored on the four-on-four when Alex Lubczuk skated untouched around the net, placing the shot near side.
Five minutes later, David Ripple scored on the power play, banking it off the goalie from behind the net. Less than two minutes later it was 3-0 on a Tyler Brickler back-door redirection.
Potsdam called time out and soon after appeared to have scored. However, the referees ruled the player kicked it in the net.
Soon after, Ryan Donnelly scored down low and the rout was on.
“[The first period] wasn’t a bad period of hockey,” Schultz said. “It was a controlled brand of hockey, and then things opened up in the second.”
Potsdam pulled Austin Keiser, replacing him with Shane Talarico. It worked for seven minutes until Zachary Vit fired one in from the right point on the power play.
That power play was due to a major penalty, and Geneseo got another goal during it early in the third period with a second Potsdam player in the box.
Nate Brown got that one, followed by Corbin Rosmarin on another power play, then Carson Schell and Ripple even-strength tallies. It took until the ninth goal before there was a repeat scorer.
The only question long before the third period was whether Haude would get his shutout. He withstood a late power play to complete the whitewash, finishing with 22 saves.
“From top to bottom, we played pretty well,” Schultz said. “Every line was chipping in. When it got to 5-0, we were solely worried about habits, playing the game the right way. I’m really pleased with the way we played.”
The other SUNYAC playoff game was also a shutout with Buffalo State beating Fredonia 6-0.
Buffalo State travels to Oswego and Geneseo goes to Plattsburgh for the semifinals on Saturday.