Some settled, some unsettled in SUNYAC
Here are the quick facts:
— Oswego and Plattsburgh have clinched a bye. Who finishes first will most likely be settled when they meet on February 17.
— Buffalo State, Fredonia, Potsdam, and Geneseo will be fighting it out for a home spot in the play-in round. Potsdam with a game in hand on all the other three teams has complete control of its own fate.
— Though not mathematically out of it, the task got a lot tougher for Brockport, Cortland, and Morrisville to try and steal a playoff spot.
The key result this past weekend was Potsdam’s sweep of Buffalo State and Fredonia. In the first game, Potsdam outshot the Bengals, 35-26, went three-for-eight on the power play, and led 4-0 midway through the game before Buffalo State got on the scoreboard. Matt Viola, Nick Avgerinos, Vinny Buttitta, Erick Ware, and Sy Nutkevitch scored. Kevin McFarland made 25 saves.
The next night, the Bears again grabbed a second period lead, couldn’t hold on to it, but got the win in overtime, 4-3. Fredonia led 1-0 after one on a goal by Will McLaughlin. In the second, Mike Arnold scored on a power play, Buttitta got an even-strength goal, and Arnold scored again, this time short-handed.
The Blue Devils fought back in the third with a power-play goal by Brian Doust, and then Stephen Castriota tied it. Mike Foy, who twice left the game injured, scored the winner with 28 seconds left in overtime. McFarland again got the call in net and made 49 saves.
The four points move Potsdam into fifth, one point behind the teams they just played and one point ahead of Geneseo.
Another key contest was Geneseo at Brockport, a must win for both teams, but instead they had to settle for just one point apiece in a 2-2 tie.
Brendon Rothfuss gave Brockport a 1-0 first period lead. Zachary Vit tied it on a second period power play. Jonathan Redlick gave the Ice Knights the lead early in the third on a power play. Then, Geneseo got into penalty trouble, twice giving Brockport a two-man advantage. The Golden Eagles finally capitalized on the second one when Mike Hayward scored a backdoor goal with 2:11 left in regulation.
“I think in the grand scheme of SUNYAC points, we’re disappointed in the tie,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “But, to be trailing 2-1 in the third and battle back and make things happen and get a point to at least keep us alive for a night, I was proud of the way we battled back and drew some penalties. It would have been easy to quit working late with a lot of near misses, quick whistles, but we didn’t do that and finally got that five-on-three to goal.”
“The discipline we showed with our hooks and tripping is not acceptable,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We give them two five-on-three’s and you think they’re not going to tie the game or win it?”
The tie did keep Geneseo three points ahead of Brockport and well within striking range of a home ice berth. However, the Ice Knights now have to look in both directions with three games left.
— Cortland was once again involved in a wild 6-5 overtime game, but this time on the losing end. Morrisville won the game 1:59 into the extra period on a goal by Tom Longland. Cortland led 1-0, Morrisville took a 3-1 lead, Cortland tied it up, and Morrisville twice took the lead, only to have Cortland tie the game.
— Buffalo State’s second best offense in the league and 13th best in the nation took a hit when it only scored one goal this past weekend. After notching the one against Potsdam, it was shutout by Plattsburgh, 1-0. The lone goal came in the first period by Jake Mooney at 19:16. Kevin Carr had to make 41 saves to keep his team in it, but Mathieu Cadieux kept the Bengals off the scoreboard with 15 saves. It was Bob Emery’s 500th win as a coach.
— Fredonia lost both its games in overtime, dropping Friday’s contest to Plattsburgh, 3-2. The Cardinals had a 2-0 lead on a first period power-play goal by Ryan Craig and a second period short-handed goal by Jared Docking. Like Saturday, Fredonia scored twice in the third (Castriota and Mat Hehr) to force overtime. Craig won it at 1:12 of the extra period.
— Oswego blew out Morrisville, 8-1, getting off 50 shots. Paul Rodrigues was on fire, scoring five goals and an assist, including not just a natural hat trick, but a natural “quad” trick. Luke Moodie got four assists. Andrew Hare made 23 saves.