Men’s hockey sees weekend road slate curbed by brawl, suspensions

After referees call Potsdam game early, shorthanded Bengals shutout in Plattsburgh

Mens hockey sees weekend road slate curbed by brawl, suspensions

Buffalo State men’s hockey came back from its road trip this past weekend with a 1-1 tie against Potsdam and a shutout loss to No. 6 Plattsburgh, 2-0.

The Bengals struggled on the power play in both games, going a combined 0-for-11 in the two games.

“Our power play has to be better if we want to win more games,” said sophomore forward Brett Hope. “The playoffs come down to special teams and we need to keep working on it and improving.”

The Bengals were without three regulars, including two of their top scorers, against Plattsburgh due to a suspension stemming from a brawl that cleared both benches late into the Potsdam game.

Captain Mike Zannella, Dan Turgeon and Jason Cleaver were suspended one game. SUNYAC officials were still reviewing the incident Tuesday to determine whether further discipline is necessary.

“It was an emotional game and sometimes tempers can flare,” said goaltender Kevin Carr. “Unfortunately it was after the game and you never like to see that, but sometimes that happens in hockey. On that note, I was proud of the way we stuck up for one another.”

The game didn’t start in favor of the Bengals after center Taylor McGraw was penalized for tripping just 55 seconds into the game.

After Kevin Carr made four crucial saves on the power play, the Bengals came back to full strength, but Potsdam was still putting on pressure that kept Buffalo State’s defense on its heels.

After a faceoff win by Buffalo State’s Kyle Whipple, the Bengals were able to strike first eight minutes into the first period when Shane Avery scored his first goal of the season. Sean Hrivnak and McGraw assisted the goal.

The game was a defensive battle. Both were killing off each other’s penalties back and forth until Potsdam finally struck to tie the game.

Potsdam’s Billy Pascalli tied the game 15 minutes into the second period to make the score 1-1. Adam Place and Trevor Cope assisted the goal.

The game headed into overtime after a scoreless third period when things got out of hand.

A total of eight 10-minute misconducts, two unsportsmanlike conducts and five disqualifications were called and the game ended in a tie.

“The referees lost control of the game when one of our players was hit from behind and injured on the play,” Zannella said. “(Potsdam) did not receive a major penalty. The referees did not do their jobs to escort our goalie to our bench and instead let the other team surround and taunt him. Our team was forced to step in and defend him.”

The Bengals missed the suspended scorers when they traveled to take on first-place Plattsburgh, ranked sixth in the nation.

Plattsburgh scored on its first shot of the game just 26 seconds in when Michael Radisa scored his first of the year. Michael Cassidy and Barry Roytman assisted the goal.

However, Buffalo State did have scoring chances. Plattsburgh took six penalties, but the Bengals couldn’t convert on any of them due to Plattsburgh’s trademark tough defensive play.

Plattsburgh completed the scoring 15 minutes into the second period when Alex Jensen scored his tenth of the season. Dillan Fox and Luke Baleshta assisted on the goal.

With Fredonia also losing this weekend, the Bengals did not lose any ground in the SUNYAC playoff race. The Bengals head to Fredonia for an important game against the fifth-place Blue Devils on Friday—three points separate Fredonia from Buffalo State, in fourth place. The top six teams qualify for the SUNYAC playoffs later this month.

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