Carr shines in net in hard-fought Fredonia draw

Brett Hope was named team captain of the Bengals.

Dave DeLuca/The Record

Brett Hope was named team captain of the Bengals.

Buffalo State men’s hockey traveled to Fredonia Friday night for a game with major playoff implications. They came away with a 2-2 draw at Steele Hall.

A win by Buffalo State would have moved the Bengals two points behind Oswego for the third seed. A win by Fredonia would have put the Blue Devils ahead of the Bengals in the standings with two games left to play.

“It’s always important to finish as high as you can,” goaltender Kevin Carr said. “We can only control what we can control and how we come ready to play night in and night out. We know every team in this league is good so we have to make sure we bring effort every game.”

The Bengals have had trouble getting by the Blue Devils this season. The first matchup between the two squads back in November ended in a 4-4 tie.

“Both teams play the same way and they are a hard working team and play well in their system,” sophomore Brett Hope said. “For us it comes down to us doing the little things and outworking the other teams, which we can control and not anyone else, and (we) need to bring that everyday starting in practice.”

Carr and Fredonia’s Jeff Flagier started in goal. Carr was stellar between the pipes for the Bengals, stopping 37 of 39 shots.

The game started out well for the Bengals. The offense was working it well in the zone, making the Blue Devils come out of position and essentially chase them around their own zone.

Although Buffalo State was controlling majority of the play, Fredonia struck first, with Hunter Long scoring his third goal of the year six minutes into the first period, assisted by Alex Perkins and Kurt Gottschalk.

Buffalo State came out flying after conceding the first goal. Todd Graham, Dan Turgeon and Ben Kramer all put quality shots on net, but Flager made good stops to keep the lead for the Blue Devils.

Two minutes later, Buffalo State finally converted on one of its chances. Sean Hrivnak scored his second of the season after a shot by Todd Graham went wide. Dan Turgeon and Taylor Pryce assisted the goal for the Bengals that tied the game at one.

Halfway through the second period the Bengals headed on the power play, in which they struggled greatly the weekend prior, going 0-11 in the two games played.

“We had a couple personnel changes on our power play unit,” said head coach Nick Carriere. “We did struggle last week, but we need to start converting on our chances and just keep chipping away at it.”

Buffalo State converted on its second man advantage. Mike Zannella scored his seventh goal of the year to give Buffalo State a lead halfway through the game. Turgeon and Pryce each picked up their second assists of the game.

Two minutes later Fredonia killed off another Buffalo State power play and scored shortly after returning to full strength to finish off the scoring. Blake Forslund scored his fifth of the season to tie the game at two, with Long and Perkins both picking up assists on the play.

Carriere did not agree with the call on the ice. He believed there should have been a whistle because Carr had the puck frozen.

“There were a number of players in between the official and the puck,” Carriere said. “When the officials can’t see the puck anymore they are supposed to blow the play dead. I think he wanted to play it out a little bit. The puck circled around the net and Carr was pushed into the net as the Fredonia player put it in to tie the game. It’s nothing that we can do. We just need to deal with it.”

There was no scoring in the third period or overtime, and the draw earned both teams a point, meaning Buffalo State still holds a lead over the Blue Devils in the standings.

The Bengals play their last two regular season games Friday against Geneseo and Saturday against Brockport. The Bengals still remain three points behind Oswego for the third seed.

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