McDonald finishes with 44 saves as Geneseo bounces Potsdam from SUNYAC playoffs

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GENESEO, N.Y. — Geneseo finished in a tie for second place in the SUNYAC.

However, they lost the tie-breaker and thus, the valuable bye in the first round of the playoffs.

“When you don’t worry about the process, you let teams you should beat get a point from you,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “Those games put us in this position in the first place.”

The Ice Knights did not allow themselves to be caught off guard in the quarterfinal round, handily beating Potsdam 4-1.

“We played pretty good in the first period,” Schultz said. “Once we got that three-goal lead, I think we took the foot off the pedal and made our way home. It’s a playoff win, so I’m not going to complain.”

“We don’t score,” Potsdam coach Chris Bernard said. “That’s been the recipe for us down the stretch. We had 45 shots on goal. If you look back over our last 10 games, you’re going to see over 400 shots. So we’re averaging over 35 shots a game. We just need something to go in for us. They just haven’t bounced that way for us.”

Geneseo immediately applied pressure on Potsdam and never let up during the first period.

They were finally rewarded when the puck bounced across the crease and R.J. Burns was there to send it home at 11:38.

“Just a blue collar goal, jamming away in the crease,” Schultz said.

Two minutes later, Matt Solomon shot it from the left point. The puck changed direction going through a crowd and found its way through the five-hole.

Just 31 seconds into the second period, Geneseo scored the “killer” goal. Pat Condon from the top of the left circle had plenty of time to wind up and fire a rocket on net. Brendan McMenimen got a good piece of it with his pad, but it still ricocheted into the goal.

“I think the way it was scored, he had a clear sight of it and the puck probably should have been stopped,” Schultz said. “I know that goal takes a lot of wind out of the sails of players on the bench because we’ve been on that side of it before. I think at that point, our team was pretty confident we would win the game.”

At 9:03, David Ripple blasted a shot from the right circle into the far side, prompting Bernard to pull McMenimen and put in Nate Skidmore.

It worked briefly when Potsdam netted their first score at 12:50 when Logan Brown scooped in a rebound left on the doorstep.

Schultz called time out to make sure his team remained focused.

They did.

The score remained 4-1 the rest of the way, including killing off three third period power plays.

Devon McDonald made 44 saves for Geneseo.

“The last three game he has played, he’s been outstanding,” Schultz said. “You need a good goalie to win this time of year.”

For Potsdam (11-11-4), it was a disappointing end to a season that started at 6-0 and held so much promise. The Bears won just one game in their last eight, scoring more than two goals in just one of those games.

Geneseo (16-4-6) moves on, traveling to Buffalo State, the team that beat them out on the tie-breaker for second place, for a Saturday night semifinal contest.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Schultz said. “Guys will be hungry being down to them.”

In the other SUNYAC quarterfinal game, host Oswego routed Brockport 8-0. The Lakers travel to archrival Plattsburgh in the other semifinal game.