MORRISVILLE, N.Y.-Sophomore forward Vinny Caligiuri (Shoreham, N.Y./Hartford Wolfpack) recorded his second career hat trick as the SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team (9-10-3, 5-6-2 SUNYAC) roughed up Morrisville State (7-11-5, 5-8-2) 7-2 on Friday night. Sophomore forward Alex Goodhue (Traverse City, Mich./Atlanta Jr. Knights) scored twice and senior defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala./Kenai River Brown Bears), senior forward Zach Blake (Campbellford, Ontario/SUNY Plattsburgh) and freshman forward Dylan Vander Esch (San Jose, Calif./Hartford Wolfpack) also lit the lamp for the Bears.
Potsdam jumped on the Mustangs quickly. Just 1:37 into the contest, Caligiuri (Shoreham, N.Y./Hartford Wolfpack) put the Bears up 1-0 on assists from senior assistant captain Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass./Philadelphia Revolution) and Vander Esch Two minutes later, Goodhue (Traverse City, Mich./Atlanta Jr. Knights) doubled the advantage. Junior forward Billy Pascalli (Deer Park, N.Y./New York Bobcats) assisted on the goal. At 8:26, Caligiuri struck again with a helper from junior forward Jake Rivera (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Hartford Wolfpack) and Potsdam was on the brink of running Morrisville out of its own building. The Mustangs finally struck back at the 13:00 mark with a goal from Rob Molinaro on the man advantage. The score remained 3-1 at the first intermission with the Bears holding a 19-8 advantage in shots.
Joseph Santino closed the gap to 3-2 with a shorthanded tally 1:55 into the second period. However, Potsdam was able to regain the momentum. At 6:04, Goodhue scored again with assists from Pascalli and sophomore forward Tommy Telesca (Selden, N.Y./New York Bobcats). Nine minutes later, Vander Esch set up Caligiuri to complete his hat trick. At 18:47, Blake made it 6-2 with a power-play tally. Senior forward Trevor Cope (Swartz Creek, Mich./Atlanta Jr. Knights) and sophomore defenseman Jake Butler (Atlanta, Ga./Smith Falls Bears) assisted on the play. Potsdam took its four-goal lead into the locker room.
Vander Esch recorded his third point of the game with the Bears’ second power-play goal at 1:26 of the final stanza. Butler and Pascalli assisted on the final goal of the game. Potsdam didn’t add to its lead for the remainder of the contest, but never allowed the Mustangs to climb back in as the Bears skated to their fifth conference win of the season.
Potsdam junior goalie Jon Hall (Dexter, N.Y./Stouffville Spirit) improved to 9-7-2 on the season with 30 saves. His nine victories are the most by a Bears goalie since Ryan Venturelli won 14 in 2002-03. Morrisville goalie Steven Dombrosky allowed six goals on 35 shots in the first two periods. Jakob Rasmussen made nine saves and surrendered one goal in the third period.
Potsdam outshot Morrisville 45-32 and was 2-for-9 on the power play, while the Mustangs were 1-for-6.
The Bears are now in a three-way tie for fourth place in the SUNYAC with Buffalo State and Morrisville.
Potsdam continues its playoff push tomorrow night when the Bears face the Mustangs again at 7 p.m.