PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The No. 14 Plattsburgh State men's ice hockey team clicked off six unanswered goals and overcame a two-goal deficit to beat SUNY Potsdam, 6-2, in State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) action at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena Friday night. The Cardinals, playing their first league game since Nov. 19, improve to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the SUNYAC, while the Bears drop to 2-6-2 and 1-5-1. Plattsburgh State's ranking is according to the latest U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.
Plattsburgh State junior Matt Quilty (Midland, Ontario/Caledonia Corvairs) provided two goals and one assist, while senior Kyle Hall (Assiniboia, Saskatchewan/Battlefords North Stars), sophomores Cam Owens (Wilmington, Mass./Islanders Hockey Club) and Ross Sloan (Oakville, Ontario/Oakville Bandits) and freshman Joe Drabin (Rochester, N.Y./Wenatchee Wild) each scored once. Sophomore Nick Belger (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Soo Eagles) dished two assists and seven Cardinals picked up one assist each. Freshman Joshua Davies (Guelph, Ontario/Brooks Bandits) stopped 26 shots for his third win in his third career start.
SUNY Potsdam junior Dylan Vander Esch and sophomore Ben Mariano both scored, with senior Tommy Telesca assisting. Junior Brendan McMenimen totaled 31 saves in net.
Plattsburgh State owned advantages in first-period shots, 16-14, and first-period faceoffs, 18-5, but it was SUNY Potsdam that took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Cardinal sophomore Ryan Chiasson (Henderson, Nev./Wenatchee Wild) saw his point shot glance off the left post after hitting McMenimen's pad at 3:55. The Bears, who netted both of their opening goals off defensive turnovers, received the game's first tally from Mariano at 9:41. Mariano picked off a pass in the neutral zone and skated in to fire a shot into the right side. SUNY Potsdam then stretched its lead to 2-0 when Telesca stole the puck in the right corner and dished a pass over to Vander Esch, who punched in the puck from the left side with 38 seconds remaining in the stanza. Hall wristed a left-circle on net just before time expired.
The Cardinals battled back with a pair of second-period goals to tie the game. Drabin snapped a shot into the left side at 10:03 after receiving a cross-ice pass from junior Ayrton Valente (Woodbridge, Ontario/Mississauga Chargers). Sloan then buried the equalizer at 17:24 after freshman Philip Middleton (Vail, Colo./Salmon Arm Silverbacks) fed a defensive-zone to sophomore Pat Egan (Rochester, N.Y./Lone Star Brahmas), who scooted up ice and left a pass for Sloan, who wristed in the puck low left side.
Knotted at 2-2 after two periods, Plattsburgh State needed just 30 seconds in the third stanza to score the go-ahead goal as Quilty buried his first of the season with help from sophomore Cole Stallard (Waleska, Ga./New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs). The Cardinals scored three more times as Owens, Hall and Quilty each found the back of the net over the remainder of the period.
Plattsburgh State closes out its first-semester slate next weekend with a pair of home SUNYAC games, beginning with a 7 p.m. Friday contest against SUNY Geneseo. The game will be a rematch of last year's SUNYAC Championship title game.