GENESEO, N.Y.— The SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (3-1-1, 0-1 SUNYAC) was defeated by SUNY Geneseo (4-1, 2-1 SUNYAC) 5-2 in its SUNYAC opener. Senior forwards Dylan Vander Esch (San Jose, Calif./Hartford Wolfpack) and Joey Gilhooly (Brooklyn, N.Y./New York Bobcats) each scored for the Bears. Senior goaltender Brendan McMenimen (Merrimac, Mass./Islanders Hockey Club) had a season-high 44 saves.
Geneseo opened the scoring 4:32 into the contest. After stealing the puck in the offensive zone, Knights sophomore David Szmyd skated behind the goal, passed behind him to Andrew Romano who tipped it to Conlan Keenan. Keenan then evaded McMenimen with a shot high to the stick side. The Bears answered with eight shots on goal in the next 10 minutes, including one from Gilhooly that clanged off the post. With a little over a minute left in the first, the Bears had a 4-on-3 power play. Vander Esch and senior captain Kyle Thacker (Mississauga, Ontario/North York Rangers) passed the puck along the blue line a couple times before Vander Esch sniped it into the lower left side of the goal. The game remained tied at one heading into the first intermission.
Geneseo wasted no time getting on the board in the second period. With 1:48 gone, Keenan scored his second goal high to the glove side with assists from Romano and Duggie Lagrone. Five minutes later, sophomore forward Tyler Young (Massena, N.Y./Kanata Lasers) got a wrist shot off up close against Knights goalie Devin McDonald. McDonald made a pad save, but Gilhooly knocked home the rebound, knotting the game at two with 13:08 left in the second. At about the 9:00 mark, Knights Sotiri Athanasopoulos had his shot ricochet to Zach Lynes. Lynes then scored at the left side of the net. Less than a minute later Geneseo's Carson Kelley passed it in between two Potsdam defenders to Tyson Empey. Empey buried his second attempt to extend the lead to two. The Knights finished the rest of the period strong with 11 more shots on goal, but nothing crossed the goal line. Potsdam entered the third period trailing 4-2.
The first half of the third period was quiet with only eight combined shots reaching the opposing goalies. With 9:20 left in the game, Kelley crossed center ice and passed to Szmyd who gave it right back. Kelley scored with a marker through the five-hole, closing out the 5-2 win.
McDonald finished with 22 saves in the victory The Bears were 1-for-7 on the man advantage while the Knights were 0-for 4.
Potsdam is back on the road tomorrow at 4 p.m. when the Bears face the College at Brockport.