CORTLAND -- The SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team fell behind early and rallied twice, but came up just short, losing a 5-4 decision to Cortland (2-2, 2-2 SUNYAC).
Junior forward Todd Hosmer (Scarbrough, Ontario / Newmarket Hurricanes) and senior forward Fraser Smith (Fonthill, Ontario / Oakville Blades) each had a goal and an assist for the Bears.
Cortland jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with two tallies from Ryan Markell at the 1:51 mark and 6:45 marks. Less than a minute later, Potsdam responded with two goals to tie the game in a span of a minute and a half.
Freshman forward David Carr (Edmonton, Alberta / St. Albert Steel) tipped a shot from the point for his first collegiate goal. Freshman defenseman Mike Purcell (Pickering, Ontario / Whitby Fury) and junior forward Mike Foy (Markham, Ontario / Welland Canadians) recorded assists. Hosmer knotted the score at two on the power power at the 9:09 mark with assists from Smith and freshman forward Brandon Couto (Bowmanville, Ontario / Cobourg Cougars).
Potsdam controlled the play for much of the rest of the period, but wasn’t able to get the go ahead goal.
The Red Dragons scored three unanswered goals in the first half of the second 20 minutes, to take a 5-2 lead. Potsdam spent much of the rest of the period killing off four penalties and was unable to close the gap heading into the second intermission.
Just over two minutes into the final period, Smith scored the Bears third goal with assists from seniors Kevin MacClellan (Kensington, Prince Edward Island / Summerside Capitals) and Zack Juliano (Cape Elizabeth, Maine/Valley Junior Warriors). At the 7:48 mark, Hosmer set up freshman forward Jessie Ostring (Ylojarvi, Finland/Sammon Lukio) to cut the lead to 5-4. Potsdam continued to press for the equalizer as time wound down.
The Bears peppered Cortland goalie Brittan Kuhlman over the final four minutes and pulled junior goaltender Trevor O’Neill (Bobcaygeon, Ontario/Stouffville Spirit) for an extra attacker, but were unable to net the equalizer. Junior goalie Kevin McFarland (St. Louis, Mo./Woodstock Slammers) started for Potsdam, making 17 saves and allowing five goals in 31:27. O’Neill finished with 20 saves in the remaining 27:16. Kuhlman stopped 35 shots in the win for the Red Dragons.
Despite the game’s final score, Bears Head Coach Chris Bernard saw the contest as a learning experience for his team.
“We’re obviously very dissatisfied with the outcome, but we’re pleased with the resiliency that we showed throughout the game and the effort we displayed as well,” said Bernard. “Sometimes you have to battle adversity early so that you can become the team you want to be.” Bernard was pleased with his team’s final push in the third period.
“We had great chances, when you’re down 5-2 in this league on the road and to come out the way we did in the third period, says everything about our kids,” added Bernard. “Despite the results, but I’m really proud of the way we played. I think that’s something we can build on and become a better club because of it.”
The Bears (1-3, 1-3) face the Morrisville Mustangs in their home opener on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.