No. 4 Plattsburgh holds off Bears, 4-2


POTSDAM, N.Y.—The fourth-ranked Plattsburgh State Cardinals (15-2-2, 8-0-2 SUNYAC) scored four second period goals and held off a late charge from the SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (6-11, 1-7) to capture a 4-2 victory at Maxcy Ice Arena on Friday night. Sophomore forward Alex Brenton (Kanata, Ontario/Kempville 73's) scored twice to lead Plattsburgh. Sophomore forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska/Kenai River Brown Bears) and senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles) each scored for the Bears.

The first period was marked by fast, end-to-end play. The Cardinals fired the first six shots of the contest, but Bears senior goalie Shane Talarico (Greensburg, Pa./Elmira College) handled them and the defense cleared the zone. Potsdam clawed their way back into contest and had the two best scoring chances of the period. Plattsburgh senior goalie Mathieu Cadieux (Oshawa, Ontario/Coburg Cougars) stuffed a shot from junior defenseman Max Fogel (Williamsville, N.Y./Buffalo Jr. Sabres) at the left side of the net. Late in the period a long a pass deflected off a Cardinal defenseman and right to junior forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass./Philadelphia Revolution). Simon went in all alone and ripped a shot off the right shoulder of Cadieux. The teams entered the break scoreless.

Plattsburgh finally broke through at the 2:03 mark of the second period. Freshman forward Dakota Mason (Edmonton, Alberta/Brooks Bandits) picked up the puck at the right side of the net and roofed it over Talarico. Less than two minutes later, Brenton buried a feed from freshman defenseman Patrick Hermans (North Andover, Mass./The Northwood School) for a 2-0 lead. The Cardinals kept the pressure on and at the 14:12 mark sophomore forward Connor Gorman (Shrewsbury, Mass./New Hampshire Monarchs) finished a perfect passing play to build a three-goal advantage. At 16:03, Brenton struck again on another great pass in front and Plattsburgh took the 4-0 lead into the second intermission.

The third period started slowly, but the Potsdam fought its way back into the contest. After the first half of the closing stanza saw few shots the Bears were finally able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone. After a scrum in front of the Cardinals net, Thompson knocked home a shot to cut the lead to 4-1 at at the 5:32 mark. Senior captain Nick Avgerinos (Bolton, Ontario/Georgetown Raiders) and junior defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala./Kenai River Brown Bears) assisted on the goal. With Potsdam's scoring chances increasing, Plattsburgh called time out at the 16:09 mark to settle things down. It didn't work. Just 1:07 later Place scored off another loose puck battle in front of the net to make it a 4-2 contest. The Bears continued to swarm after the goal and pulled Talarico with 50 seconds left. The Cardinals took a penalty with 22 seconds remaining to give Potsdam its final power play. However, Plattsburgh fought off the final challenge for the win.

Talarico finished with 26 saves and Cadieux made 28 stops as the teams totaled 30 shots apiece. Both power plays were 0-3 on the night.

Associate Professor Greg Gardner, who is also a Colonel in the National Guard, dropped the puck in a pregame ceremony in honor of the Bears hosting Military Appreciation Night (See picture below). All veterans and current military personnel received free admission to the contest. Gardner nominated SUNY Potsdam and Business Administration Department Chair Joe Timmerman for the Department of Defense Patriot Award. They received the award on January 10, in recognition of their strong support for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Potsdam also recognized its women's soccer team during the first intermission for earning the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Gold Team Ethics Award for the 2013 season (See Picture Below). The honor was bestowed upon the Bears for playing the entire season without accumulating a single yellow or red card. Potsdam was one of two SUNYAC teams to earn the Gold Award.

The Bears are back in action next weekend with they hit the road for two SUNYAC games. Potsdam faces Brockport at 7 p.m. on Friday and Geneseo at the same time on Saturday.