POTSDAM, N.Y.—The University of New England (1-0-1) scored five unanswered goals to pull away from the SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (0-2) for a 6-3 win in front of a sell out crowd in Maxcy Hall on Saturday night. Senior forward Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmansville Eagles) led the Bears with a goal and an assist, while junior assistant captain Zeth Zielinski (Woonsocket, R.I./New England Huskies) paced the Nor'easters with two goals and an assist.
Prior to the contest State Senator Patricia Ritchie '91 dropped the ceremonial first puck to re-open newly renovated Maxcy Ice Arena. During the first intermission Potsdam's 1995-96 SUNYAC Champion men's hockey team was inducted into the Bears Hall of Fame during an on ice ceremony.
Potsdam took advantage of strong goaltending play from sophomore Austin Keiser (Dunwoody, Ga./Boston Bulldogs) early in the first period and capitalized on a New England mistake to grab a 1-0 lead. At 7:09, junior defenseman Dan McCamey (Dayton, Ohio/Minnesota Flying Aces) picked up a puck that Nor'easter junior goaltender Colby Drost (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Niagara University) misplayed behind the net and wrapped it around for a shorthanded goal. New England had two power plays after the goal, but went into the break trailing 1-0.
Just 1:02 into the second period, Place struck on the power play with an assist from Bears junior defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala./Kenai River Brown Bears) to double the advantage. Six minutes later, Nor'easter junior forward Jared Melman (San Jose, Calif./Portland Jr. Pirates) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and beat Keiser with a low shot. At 14:50, Potsdam added another power-play goal to build a 3-1 lead. Sophomore forward Todd Thomas (Dansville, Pa./Hartford Wolfpack) scored on assists from Ware and Place. New England responded with two goals in the next 2:09 to even the score. Zielinski made it 3-2 at 15:42 with helpers from senior forward Zach Lokey (Elizabethtown, Pa./Gloucester Rangers) and junior defenseman Chris Glover (McFarland, Wisc./Boston Bulldogs). Freshman forward David Goff (Gulfort, Fla./Walpole Express) tied the game 1:17 later on an assist from junior defenseman Patrick Borer (Golden Valley, Minn./Niagara University) and the score was knotted after 40 minutes.
Lokey scored the eventual game-winner 49 seconds into the final stanza with assists from freshman forward Connor Bates (Laconia, N.H./Northern Cyclones) and Zielinski. The Bears killed off three penalties to the Nor'easters' one during the middle of the third. However, the momentum stayed in New England's favor. Senior forward Sean Sullivan (Worcester, Mass./New England Huskies) made it 5-3 with help from freshman forward Trevor Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine/Portland Jr. Pirates) at 16:30. Potsdam pulled Keiser with 1:02 remaining, but after several strong defensive plays, Zielinski buried a pass from Bates into the empty net for the 6-3 final.
Drost and Keiser each finished with 31 saves on the evening. The Bears were 2-5 on the man advantage while holding the Nor'easters scoreless in seven attempts.
Potsdam looks to bounce back with two home SUNYAC contests next weekend. The Bears host Brockport on Friday and Geneseo on Saturday. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.