It isn’t often that the turning point of a game occurs when the opposition scores the first goal of the game. But that’s what happened as Geneseo turned Potsdam’s initial 1-0 lead into motivation for their own play. That motivation led Geneseo to score six unanswered goals in a 7-2 rout of the visiting Bears.
After a disastrous game last week, Geneseo got what they needed after the first period — sanity. Potsdam outshot the Ice Knights, 16-7, and won most of the face offs. Yet, Geneseo kept the game scoreless, which was exactly what the doctor ordered.
“I thought we were very patient in the first period,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We did the right things defensively. [Jeff] Pasemko made some good saves. We got out of it, and we turned things around in the second period.”
Potsdam took the initial lead on the power play at 4:13 of the second. Sy Nutkevitch stuffed a rebound in after fighting off defenders.
Afterwards, Geneseo started slamming bodies around and in the process upped their intensity. The increased intensity paid off for the Ice Knights as they became nearly unstoppable the rest of the period.
“I think it’s just a matter of waking guys up and saying okay you’re in a hockey game here,” Schultz said.
“I think they felt a little sense of urgency after getting down one,” Potsdam coach Aaron Saul said. “It seems like they wanted it more than us.”
Jeff MacPhee tied the game at 6:41. Phil Rose won the face off to the right of Rick Miller cleanly back to MacPhee. MacPhee waited just a moment for the two Potsdam defensemen to go down to block the shot. MacPhee then fired a rocket over the shoulder of Miller.
Geneseo took the lead on a shorthanded goal at 10:43 that started to take the wind out of Potsdam’s sails. Michael Forgione was stopped on the breakaway, but Sebastian Panetta was trailing the play. With a Potsdam defenseman sliding into the net, Panetta shot it past an out of position Miller.
Jonathan Redlick made it 3-1 at 11:31, converting a slow to develop three-on-one with a shot that banked off Miller’s shoulder.
Despite the number of goals so far, Miller was playing a very strong game. However, Geneseo was simply firing unstoppable shots.
“I thought Miller played great,” Saul said. “It wasn’t his fault. We weren’t picking up on the rebounds.”
“He had our number pretty good last year,” Schultz said. “Hockey is a simple game. You throw pucks at the net and good things happen. Brockport showed that to us last week, and we showed that this week.”
The key to Geneseo’s success was shooting high.
“That’s where we beat him last year,” Schultz said. “So we just continued to shoot up above his glove shoulder.”
The next goal was more the result of lazy play from the Potsdam defenders as they were lunging at the puck. Kevin Galan was able to avoid the poke checks, and sent a snap shot in close over Miller’s shoulder at 16:52.
Near the end of the period, Potsdam’s Matt Rhymer received a major and game misconduct for hitting from behind. With two seconds left, Geneseo took advantage of the power play. Dan Sullivan receiving a perfect pass from Redlick and fired yet another long high shot from the blueline.
The Ice Knights got another tally on the long power play to start the third period off at the 14 second mark. Galan deflected a shot up high past Miller for his second of the night.
The Bears finally stopped the flood by scoring while skating four aside at 2:06. Treacy shoved it across the blueline during a scramble in the crease.
Clint Olson returned the favor at 9:57 on his own stuff in during a scramble to give the home team a 7-2 lead.
The shots ended up even at 34 apiece. Jeff Pasemko came back after a subpar performance against Brockport, making 32 saves.
“I thought he played extremely well back there.” Schultz said. “He made up for a tough night last Friday night. The guys like to play for him. They really like to play hard in front of him. They block a lot of shots in front of him.”
Potsdam (2-3-1, 2-2-0) travels up I-390 to face Brockport tomorrow night.
“We need to regroup and refocus for tomorrow night,” Saul said.
Geneseo (6-2-0, 2-1-0) with a new sense of confidence will face a much tougher test as they host first place, undefeated Plattsburgh.
“There’s not a team in the country we want to play more,” Schultz said. “Whenever a team like that comes into your building you want to give it your all.”