MASSENA, N.Y.—Senior captain Matt Viola scored the game-tying goal with four seconds remaining and freshman forward Billy Pascalli won the game in overtime to lift the SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (7-14-1, 4-9 SUNYAC) to a 4-3 victory over Brockport (5-15-2, 4-9-1) on Saturday night. After an injury to freshman goaltender Jon Hall, junior Shane Talarico came up big in relief with 22 saves for the win. Jaxon Bernard, seven year-old son of Potsdam head coach Chris, served as the Bears lucky charm as he led the team onto the ice at the start of the contest.
Potsdam came out with good energy, outshooting the Golden Eagles 5-0 in the first five minutes. Brockport slowly evened the play and the shot totals. With just over four minutes left in the period and the Golden Eagles on the power play, Hall reinjured his knee and was forced to leave the game. Talarico entered the contest in relief and helped Potsdam kill off the penalty. Hall finished with six saves, Talarico with four and Brockport freshman goalie Jared Lockhurst stopped all 11 he faced as the contest was scoreless after 20 minutes.
The Bears came out physical in the second period, but it was the Golden Eagles getting on the board first. At the 7:28 mark, freshman forward Chase Nieuwendyk buried a rebound on the power play for a 1-0 Brockport lead. Junior forward Chris Cangro and sophomore forward Troy Polino each assisted on the play. Six minutes later, sophomore defenseman Erick Ware evened the score, beating a screened Lockhurst from the right point. Freshman forward Jake Rivera and sophomore forward Ken Simon recorded the assists. The Bears outshot the Golden Eagles 16-9 in the second period.
Just 22 seconds into the third period, freshman forward Shane Cavalieri put Brockport back in front 2-1 on assists from freshman forward James Ryan and senior defenseman Ryan Hayward. At 13:11, junior assistant captain Mike Arnold finished a pretty passing play from Viola to knot the score again. The Golden Eagles answered immediately with a tally from freshman forward Jeremy DeFazio 41 seconds later. Freshman forward Jesse Facchini assisted on the play. Brockport held the lead for almost the rest of the game. With 46 seconds left, Bernard called timeout and pulled Talarico for an extra attacker. Viola tied the score as time had nearly expired with an assist from sophomore forward Trevor Cope to send the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Potsdam outshot the Golden Eagles 4-0. The decisive volley came with 2:17 remaining. Pascalli tipped a shot from the point past Lockhurst to end the contest. Senior captain Brett Waters assisted on the goal.
Lockhurst finished with 37 saves for Brockport. The Bears outshot the Golden Eagles 41-31 on the night. Brockport was 1-4 on the man advantage and Potsdam was 0-3.
The Bears are back in action tomorrow night as they host #14 Geneseo at 7 p.m. in Massena Arena.