Bears, Bengals fight to 1-1 draw


POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (7-12-1, 2-8-1 SUNYAC) skated to a 1-1 stalemate with Buffalo State (9-8-4, 6-3-3) in a contest marked by 49 penalties, 210 penalty minutes and five game disqualifications. Sophomore forward Billy Pascalli (Deer Park, N.Y./New York Bobcats) scored the game tying goal for the Bears and sophomore goaltender Jon Hall (Dexter, N.Y./Stouffville Spirit) finished with 32 saves.

Potsdam started the game with good energy, outshooting the Bengals 9-3 in the first 11 minutes. However, Buffalo State senior goalie Kevin Carr (Unionville, Ontario/Atlanta Jr. Knights) stopped them all and allowed his team to get on the board first. At the 8:27 mark, Bengal senior forward Shane Avery (Fort Covington, N.Y./Cornwall Colts) wristed a pass from behind the net between Bears sophomore goalie Jon Hall (Dexter, N.Y./Stouffville Spirit) and the right post. Sophomore defenseman Sean Hrivnak (Laval, Quebec/Kohnawake Condors) and senior forward Taylor McGraw (North Lawrence, N.Y./Hawkesbury Hawks) each assisted on the goal. The Bengals evened the shots somewhat after the tally, but Potsdam finished the period with a 15-11 advantage despite trailing 1-0.

The penalties picked up early in the second period as  11 had been called through the first 13 minutes. The Bears made the Bengals pay with a power-play goal at 15:24. Pascalli ripped a cross-crease pass from senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles) into an open net. Junior forward Trevor Cope (Swartz Creek, Mich./Atlanta Jr. Knights) recorded the second assist on the contest's final goal. Potsdam outshot the Bengals 15-10 in the second contest.

Six penalties were called in the third period. The Bears had back-to-back power plays in the final four minutes of regulation, but Carr and his defense managed to keep the puck out of the net and force overtime.

Things went haywire in the extra session. At the 2:13 mark, Buffalo State freshman defenseman Charles Lapierre (St. Marc de Figuery, Quebec/North York Rangers) was called for a charge after running over Potsdam senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta/Kingston Voyageurs) at center ice. Again the Bears were able to put intense pressure on Buffalo State, but the Bengals killed the penalty. Emotions overflowed as Potsdam tangled with a crowd in front of Buffalo State's goal with 11 seconds left. As a result, four Bears and four Bengals were sent to the box with two minutes for hitting-after-the-whistle and a 10-minute misconduct each. After another set of coincidental penalties with one second left, the teams spilled onto the ice for melee at center ice after the final horn. Three Buffalo State players and two Bears received game disqualifications.

Carr finished with 44 saves on the night as Potsdam outshot the Bengals 45-33. Buffalo State was 0-6 on the man advantage and the Bears were 1-8.

Potsdam looks to pick up more critical conference points when they host Fredonia State a 7 p.m. tomorrow night.