Late goal gives men’s hockey a tie against SUNYAC rival Fredonia

Taylor McGraw carries the puck in the zone during Buffalo States 4-4 tie against Fredonia Friday.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Taylor McGraw carries the puck in the zone during Buffalo State’s 4-4 tie against Fredonia Friday.

For the second week in a row, the Buffalo State men’s hockey team tied a SUNYAC opponent, though Friday’s result left a much different taste in the team’s mouth than last week’s 1-1 tie with then-No. 1 ranked Plattsburgh.

The Bengals tied the game at four with 58 seconds left in the third period on Shane Avery’s first goal of the season, after being down 4-2 with less than seven minutes to play to earn a 4-4 tie at the Ice Arena.

“Unfortunately we got a tie again tonight, but at the same time it was fortunate that we got a tie,” goaltender Kevin Carr said. “We have to be somewhat happy with it, but at the same time we have to realize that ties aren’t going to win you games and win you championships.”

Coach Nick Carriere said he thought his team showed good resolve despite putting itself behind the eight ball early in the game.

“The guys did a great job of showing resilience and coming back,” he said. “I’m always proud of the guys when they can do something like that, you just don’t always want to put yourself in that situation.”

Buffalo State opened the scoring Friday less than halfway through the first period on the power play when defenseman Ben Kramer’s shot from the point made it through traffic and found its way to the back of the net.

After Fredonia answered with two goals of its own, Buffalo State forward Dan Turgeon netted his team-leading sixth goal of the season to tie the game at 2 going into the second intermission.

Fredonia came out strong in the third period, scoring a power-play goal 48 seconds in, and following it up with another power-play goal halfway through the period.

Down, 4-2, the Bengals went on the power play with 5:39 left in the game, and struck quickly with a goal by forward Adam Rossi nine seconds later.

The goal was Buffalo State’s third power-play goal on nine chances in the game, and forward Brett Hope said the team can still get better with the man-advantage.

“I think we’re doping really well. It’s coming,” Hope said. “It’s not the best right now, but we work on it day in and day out to get the puck moving. “… It’s right there, we just have to put the puck in the back of the net.”

With the goalie pulled and under a minute to play, Kramer threw a puck toward the net and it deflected past Fredonia goaltender Christopher Elserman off of Avery’s stick.

The goal sent the Buffalo State bench — and fans — into a frenzy.

“It was a good play. We were battling hard for it, so fortunately the bounce went our way,” an obviously relieved Avery said after the game.

Neither team managed any real scoring chances the rest of the period or in overtime.

Turgeon had one goal and three assists in the game. His 10 points are twice as many as any other player on the Bengals this season.

Hope, who has played on Turgeon’s line the past few games, said that Turgeon has adapted nicely to the style of play at Buffalo State.

“He’s a great player,” Hope said. “He keeps the game simple and he’s highly skilled. He’s able to put the puck in the back of the net as everyone sees. I love playing with him.”

The Bengals played Friday’s game without their captain, Mike Zannella, who was scratched because of poor discipline against Plattsburgh, Carriere said.

Discipline has been an issue for the Bengals as a whole all season, and Friday’s game was no different. They took six penalties, two of which turned into goals for the Blue Devils.

Carriere said his team needs to clean up its play, but that his players were not the only ones at fault for the penalties against Fredonia.

“Our discipline has been tough,” Carriere said. “I’ll definitely give a couple to the officials (Friday). I think there were some inconsistencies there, but we have to do a better job.”

Through its first seven games of the season, Buffalo State is 3-2-2 overall and in SUNYAC play, good for third place in the conference.

Carr said that it hurts the team to give up points to conference rivals, especially in home games.

“Especially for us seniors, losing games or wasting games is frustrating, so I think as captains and as a whole team, we’re just trying to keep positive,” Carr said.

The Bengals travel to Saratoga Springs this weekend to take part in the Skidmore Invitational. Buffalo State takes on Elmira at 5 p.m. Saturday, and will play in either the championship or consolation game on Sunday afternoon.

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Twitter: @cdierken