Red Dragons escape Bears men's hockey in OT, 5-4
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 11:15 pm

POTSDAM, N.Y.—SUNY Cortland (5-16-3, 4-10-3 SUNYAC) scored an extra-attacker goal with 45 seconds left and defeated the SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team (9-14-2, 4-10-2) 5-4 with 29 seconds remaining in overtime. Senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta/Kingston Voyageur) scored a goal and added an assist on Senior Night and sophomore forward Billy Pascalli (Deer Park, N.Y./New York Bobcats) matched him. Four Red Dragons finished the night with two points.

The first period was evenly played by both teams through the first 12 minutes. Potsdam killed off two penalties in the opening 10 minutes. Then 17 seconds after the Bears returned to even strength, Pascalli buried a pass from classmate Todd Thomas (Davidsville, Pa./Hartford Wolfpack) for a 1-0 lead. Senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta/Kingston Voyageurs) recorded the second assist. Just 22 seconds later, junior forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass./Philadelphia Revolution) tipped a shot from the point past Red Dragon senior goalie Mark Balkwill (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Broom C.C.) to make it 2-0. Defense prevented many scoring opportunities for much of the rest of the period. However, with 2:22 remaining senior forward Adam Bevilacqua (Toronto, Ontario/St. Norbert College) found junior forward Nick Zappia (Manlius, N.Y./Kingston Voyageurs) with a long pass. Zappia went in all alone and ripped a shot past the blocker of Bears sophomore goalie Austin Keiser (Dunwoody, Ga./Boston Bull Dogs). The Bears led 2-1 at the first intermission.

Potsdam controlled the play in the second period outshooting Cortland by a 22-7 margin. At the 10:03 mark, senior assistant captain Ryan Miller (Didsbury, Alberta/Arizona State) made it a 3-1 contest on a helper from senior defenseman Kevin Carpenter (Denver, Colo./Notre Dame Hounds). With 1:10 left in the middle stanza, sophomore forward Brant Sherwood (Rochester, N.Y./Plymouth State) got the Red Dragons to within 3-2 and the score remained the same at the second break.

The third period was the most balanced of the contest. At 2:00, Cortland freshman forward Casie Garrison (Cortland, N.Y./Philadelphia Revolution) tied the score. The lead lasted just over six minutes as Arnold backhanded his own rebound over Balkwill at 8:39. Junior defenseman Dan McCamey (Dayton, Ohio/Minnesota Flying Aces) and Pascalli recorded the assists. Potsdam was unable to score on back-to-back power plays in the middle of the period and Cortland followed suit with a five-on-three man advantage with less than five minutes remaining. Balkwill was pulled with 1:08 on the clock and with 45 seconds left, Bevilacqua wristed a shot over Keiser to tie the game at 4-4.

The Bears had their chances in overtime, outshooting Cortland 6-3, but it was the Red Dragons coming away with the game-winner. With 29 seconds remaining in the extra session, junior defenseman Kevin Antonik (Central Islip, N.Y./Jersey Hitmen) buried a pass from the behind the net and emptied Maxcy Ice Arena.

Keiser finished with 31 saves, while Balkwill turned aside 51 Potsdam attempts. Cortland was 0-6 on the power play and the Bears went 0-5.

Prior to the game, seniors Arnold, Miller, Carpenter, Adam Place (Scarborough, Ontario/Bowmanville Eagles) and Nick Avgerinos (Bolton, Ontario/Georgetown Raiders) were honored for the their careers with the Bears.