Morrisville, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team (6-14-1, 4-9 SUNYAC) scored a season-best eight goals to complete a season sweep of SUNY Morrisville (9-9-1, 6-4-1) with an 8-5 SUNYAC road victory on Friday night. The Bears got two goals apiece from senior forward Fraser Smith (Fonthill, Ontario/Oakville Blades) and freshman forward Adam Place (Toronto, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles). Junior goaltender Kevin McFarland (St. Louis, Mo./Woodstock Slammers) made 38 saves to earn his second career victory.
The Bears jumped on the Mustangs from the outset as freshman forward Jesse Ostring (Ylojarvi, Finland/Sammon Lukio) gave Potsdam a 1-0 lead 1:54 into the game. Senior forward Kevin MacLellan (Kensington, Prince Edward Island/Summerside Capitals) and junior defenseman Hunter Syrydiuk (Toronto, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles) each assisted on the goal. Smith extended the lead eight minutes later with his first of the night on assists from junior forward Sy Nutkevitch (Montreal, Quebec/Cornwall Colts) and senior forward Colin MacLennan (Whitby, Ontario/Ajax Attack). MacLennan got his own goal at the 13:50 mark with assists from Nutkevitch and Smith. Morrisville cut the lead to 3-1 with a tally from Tyler Swan at 16:24, but Place restored the three-goal lead with his first of the night coming with 1:08 left in the period on an assist from MacLellan.
The teams traded goals throughout the second period. Taylor Vince scored a power-play goal for the Mustangs at the 2:37 mark to make it a 4-2 contest, but again Potsdam answered. Place netted his second goal 58 seconds later with a helper from freshman forward Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta/Kingston Voyageurs). At 9:13 James Jarvis scored another Morrisville power-play goal to again close the gap to two. The Bears finished the period with two unanswered power-play goals. At the 14:11 mark sophomore defenseman Brett Waters (Uxbridge, Ontario/Markham Waxers) scored the eventual game-winner on assists from Nutkevitch and Smith. Smith got his second with just 12 seconds remaining to give Potsdam a commanding 7-3 lead at the second intermission. MacLennan and Nutkevitch recorded assists.
Sophomore forward Matt Viola (Toronto, Ontario/Vaughan Vipers) scored a shorthanded goal 29 seconds into the third period for a five-goal Potsdam advantage. The Mustangs got power-play goals 1:07 apart from Rafal Plonski and Swan at 10:39, and 11:46, respectively, but wouldn’t get any closer. McFarland made 17 third period saves to preserve the win for Potsdam.
Morrisville goalie Caylin Relkoff had 33 saves. Smith totaled four points on the night (2-2-4) for the Bears, as did Nutkevitch (0-4-4) and MacLennan added three more (1-2-3).
Potsdam Head Coach Chris Bernard was very satisfied with his squad’s victory over the the conference’s third-place team and it’s performance at both ends of the ice.
“Offensively, we had some opportunities early and we capitalized on them,” said Bernard. “That hasn’t been a hallmark for us this year, but our guys saw the results tonight. And our defensive corps played with a lot of guts and a lot of character. It was a key factor in our success.”
The coach was also impressed with the play of freshman Place.
“Adam Place has been playing some real good hockey for us lately,” added Bernard. “He’s red hot and it’s nice to see him rewarded on the score sheet.”
The Bears are back in action on Friday, Feb. 11, when they travel to Fredonia for an important match up with the Blue Devils at 7 p.m. Potsdam trails Fredonia by two points in the SUNYAC standings for the last playoff spot. The Bears finish the weekend at Buffalo State the following night with another 7 p.m. face off with the Bengals.