Buffalo State Athletics
Buffalo State men’s hockey head coach Steve Murphy might have been worried the Bengals (14-4-1, 6-3-1) were still not over their loss to Plattsburgh on Friday night, as they gave up a goal a little over a minute into the game. However, Buffalo State regathered its ground early and took advantage once the opportunity came Saturday.
In the middle period, those opportunities came … five times.
Buffalo State executed on netting five goals in the second period on their way to a 7-3 victory over the Potsdam Bears (6-12-2, 1-9-1) in SUNYAC action.
Just 1:20 into the game Potsdam forward Anthony Merante set up a screen and then tipped a Vinny Caligiuri shot for the first score of the game. The Bengals didn’t let the goal get to them and stayed right in the game. Both sides showed they had speed during the first period as the play went back and forth.
In the second period, Buffalo State’s offense suddenly began to convert chances into goals. Twenty-four seconds into the period Roberts Smits took advantage of a Potsdam turnover inside the Bears’ zone and found Anthony Passero in front of the net to tie the game.
Potsdam’s Ben Mariano then went to the box to give the Bengals the power play. After breaking his stick, Taylor Pryce got right back in the action as he took a shot from the point which went in, thanks to a Jake Rosen screen to give the Bengals the lead. Buffalo State caught Potsdam goalie Brendan McMenimen out of position and Passero threw the puck in the open crease for Mac Wood to put home to give the Bengals the 3-1 lead.
After a Potsdam timeout, forward Dylan Vander Esch stepped up for the Bears. Vander Esch scored back-to-back goals to tie the game at three, 9:30 into the period.
Later in the second, Buffalo State could not convert on a power play opportunity, but they kept the pressure going in the offensive zone. After a great pass from across the zone by Brody Power, Marcus Michalski took a shot from the top of the circle that was tipped in by Smits to give Buff State back the lead. The Bengals took advantage of another Potsdam turnover in their own zone as Passero found Anthony Beaumont to give Buffalo State the 5-3 lead at the end of the second period.
Late in the third, Jonathan Colley scored his first goal as a collegiate as he deflected a shot from the point by Michael Anthony Guerrera. Zach Remers finished off the Bears with an empty net goal.
Puck control was key to the Bengals’ success as Buffalo State won 42 of 74 faceoffs. Buff State goalie Mike DeLaVergne, had trouble controlling the puck early, but ultimately stopped 31 of 34 shots.
Next weekend the men’s hockey team has a home-and-home with Morrisville State. The Bengals will be at Morrisville State on Friday and host the Mustangs Saturday at Buffalo State Ice Arena. Both games have a 7 p.m. face off.