Men’s hockey splits weekend, learns from loss


Dave Deluca

Senior Taylor Pryce recorded a goal on Saturday in a win over Potsdam.

Francis Boeck, Associate Sports Editor

The hockey Bengals were on a five-game winning streak heading into Friday night’s 2-1 loss to Plattsburgh. Five games may not be a lot but consider this: Dec. 9 was the last time the Bengals lost a game. It had been a while since the Bengals had left the ice after the final buzzer with a loss.

However, Buffalo State men’s hockey head coach Steve Murphy insists it wasn’t something his team was concerned about.

“We didn’t pay too much attention to winning streaks, we were just trying to get a win up in Plattsburgh,” Murphy said.

Buffalo State goaltender Mike DeLaVergne echoed his coach’s comment.

“We really didn’t focus on losing the streak, it’s more about losing the game,” DeLaVergne said. “Those were a big two points we needed.”

DeLaVergne overall had a strong weekend, especially on Friday where he kept the Bengals in the game. Being within striking distance is “calming” to the coach.

“He’s a calming presence,” Murphy said. “All of the guys have confidence in him, he gives us a chance to win every night.”

On Friday, the Bengals came out of the locker room a little flat with a bad first period. Plattsburgh scored both of their goals in the first period. Buff State fought back in the second and third and got some scoring chances, but the bad start seemed to haunt them for the rest of the game.

“We had a bad first 20 minutes, after that it was a pretty even game,” Murphy said. “We had our chances but we didn’t capitalize.”

In conjunction with the bad start, the Bengals took five penalties in the game. Four of them came in the second and third period.

“We took way too many penalties. You can’t give them five power plays,” Murphy said. “It’s hard to get momentum going when you’re going to the box every couple minutes.”

DeLaVergne believes the Plattsburgh loss will serve as a learning experience for his team.

“It was a hostile environment and many guys weren’t used to it,” DeLaVergne said. “Now we know when we go to places like Plattsburgh and Oswego, that they’re huge games and they have huge crowds. We have to build off that.”

After Friday’s loss, Buffalo State needed to rebound.

On Saturday, the Bengals rebounded in a big way with five-goal second period, that helped them to a 7-3 win over Potsdam.

After giving up a goal just a few minutes into the game, the Bengals did not give up. Freshman Anthony Passero got things started as he got a pass from classmate Roberts Smits and scored just 24 seconds into the second. But perhaps more important, was that a total of 13 players participated in the seven goals scored on Saturday night.

“We went back to the to the basics, when we get away from our game we get in trouble,” DeLaVergne said. “We really focused on getting back to our game, playing hard, fast and with a lot of skill.”

The all-around contribution is not out of the ordinary for the Bengals. Of the 202 total points Buffalo State has scored this season, 11 players have scored 10 points or more.

“This team has as much depth as this program as ever had,” Murphy said. “Everyone is a big piece to our success. I think its special that we can roll four lines and be dangerous.”

To cap off the weekend, Buffalo State freshman forward Jonathan Colley scored his first collegiate goal.

“He’s a freshman that has played some big minutes for us. He’s had a couple of chances this season so it was nice for him to get that goal,” Murphy said. “It’s a credit to how hard he’s worked this year.”

Buffalo State is in the home stretch with only six games left in the regular season. The Bengals are currently hold the third seed for the SUNYAC playoffs, putting them in line for a home playoff game. According to the senior goaltender, Buffalo State is very capable making a run in the playoffs, but they have to be consistent going forward.

“We need to be ready to go from the drop of every single puck,” DeLaVergne said. “We know how to play and when we play our game we’re a scary team.”

This weekend the Bengals will have a home-and-home series with Morrisville State. Friday 7 p.m. at Morrisville. Saturday 7 p.m. at the Buffalo State Ice Arena.