Arnold gives Bears OT victory at Cortland


CORTLAND, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (3-7, 1-6 SUNYAC) badly need a conference win before break and senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta/Kingston Voyageur) gave them one. Arnold scored 1:34 into overtime for a 3-2 victory at SUNY Cortland (3-6-2, 3-5-1) on Saturday night.

The teams peppered each other's goalies with shots in the first period. The Red Dragons outshot Potsdam 13-11 in the opening 20 minutes. However, Cortland's Lyle Locker and Bears senior goaltender Shane Talarico (Greensburg, Pa./Elmira College) turned aside every volley and the contest was scoreless heading into the first intermission.

The Bears drew first blood 4:22 into the middle period as junior forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass./Philadelphia Revolution) scored on a pass from senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles). Five minutes later, Potsdam doubled its advantage as junior forward Zach Blake (Campbellford, Ontario/Plattsburgh State) struck on the power play with helpers from sophomore forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska/Kenai River Brown Bears) and junior forward Trevor Cope (Swartz Creek, Mich./Atlanta Jr. Knights). The Red Dragons answered quickly with two power-play goals to tie the game. At 14:48, Matt Esposito found the back of the net with assists from A.J. Moyer and Nick Zappia. Just over a minute later, Brant Sherwood tied the score with an unassisted tally. The Bears outshot Cortland 22-10 in the second period, but found themselves tied at 2-2 after 40 minutes.

Potsdam and the Red Dragons had scoring opportunities in the third period. The Bears held a 10-9 advantage in shots. However, Rocker and Talarico dug in and sent the contest to overtime.

Talarico stopped Cortland's only chance just into the extra session, but Potsdam responded with game-winning pressure. Locker stopped three quick shots from the Bears, but Arnold buried the fourth to end the game. Cope and sophomore forward Todd Thomas (Davidsville, Pa./Hartford Wolfpack) assisted on the decisive marker.

Talarico stopped 31 shots to improve to 2-0 on the season. Locker finished with 44 saves. Potsdam was 1-6 on the man-advantage and the Red Dragons were 2-5.

The Bears have now won their last three meetings with Cortland.

Potsdam is off until Jan. 3, when Bears Hall of Fame Coach Ed Seney and his Saint Anselm Hawks invade Maxcy Ice Arena for a two-game series.