Home College Bears slay Red Dragons, return to SUNYAC Playoffs

Bears slay Red Dragons, return to SUNYAC Playoffs


MASSENA, N.Y.—On Senior Night, senior captain Brett Waters (Uxbridge,
Ontario/Markham Waxers) scored the decisive goal in the SUNY Potsdam men’s
hockey team’s (9-15-1, 6-10 SUNYAC) playoff clinching 2-1 victory over
SUNY Cortland (7-15-1, 3-11-2) at Massena Arena on Saturday night.
Sophomore forward Ryan Miller (Didsbury, Alberta/Arizona State) scored the
other goal for the Bears and freshman goalie Austin Keiser (Dunwoody,
Ga./Boston Bulldogs) earned his fifth career win with 29 saves.

Potsdam controlled the play in the first period, outshooting the Red
Dragons 12-6. The Bears finally broke through at the 6:35 mark. Sophomore
forward Dan McCamey (Dayton, Ohio/Minnesota Flying Aces) attempted to
center the puck, but it was deflected perfectly onto the stick of the
trailing Miller. Miller grazed the crossbar with a high shot that beat
Cortland junior goalie Lyle Rocker (Buffalo, N.Y./Wisconsin-River Falls)
over his right shoulder. Freshman forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage,
Alaska/Kenai River Brown Bears) recorded the second assist. The score
remained the same into the first break.

The teams continued to play a tightly contested game throughout the second
period. Both teams had their chances, but struggled to score. Nearly five
minutes into the period, Rocker robbed Bears junior forward Adam Place
(Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmansville Eagles) on a shot from the slot. Five
minutes later, Keiser returned the favor on a shot from Red Dragon
sophomore defenseman Jeff Vanzant (Barrie, Ontario/SUNY Plattsburgh). At
the 4:00 minute mark, Cortland junior forward Adam Bevilacqua (Toronto,
Ontario/St. Norbert) missed a wide open net after a pretty passing play on
the power play. At 18:08, Red Dragon senior forward Mike Lysyj
(Hillsborough, N.J./South Shore Kings) made the Bears pay for a turnover
with shorthanded breakaway goal to tie the score.

Waters struck just 3:14 into the final 20 minutes. He fired a shot from
the right point that beat a screened Rocker five-hole. Sophomore
defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala./Kenai River Brown Bears) and
sophomore forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass./Philadelphia Revolution) each
assisted on the goal. Cortland responded with intense pressure late and
the Bears struggled to clear the zone. Keiser came up with several key
saves in the closing minutes. With 55 seconds left, Rocker was pulled for
an extra attacker. He reentered the game with 15 seconds left for a
neutral zone faceoff and never got another chance to get to the bench.

Rocker finished with 28 saves. Both teams were 0-3 on the power play.
Potsdam finishes with a season sweep of Cortland for the first time in
three seasons and is now 53-28-1 against the Red Dragons all-time.

Before the game, two year-old Claire Nezezon of Norwood, N.Y. dropped the
first puck to help raise awareness of cystic fibrosis (Picture attached).
Nezezon is battling the disease.

The Bears finish the season as the sixth seed in the SUNYAC playoffs and
will travel to third seeded Geneseo for the first round on Wednesday
night. The faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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