SUNY Potsdam women win third straight hockey game, advance to tourney championship
Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 12:11 am

Rutland, Vt.—The SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey team scored three third period goals to down Plymouth State (0-11-1) 4-1 in the first round of the Rutland Herald Invitational. Freshman forward Jessica Silveira (Brampton, Ontario/Brampton Thunder) scored two goals, including the game-winner, to lead the Bears (4-7) to their third straight victory.

Potsdam outshot the Panthers 12-5 in the first period, but was unable to get on the board. The teams went almost all of the second period before sophomore defenseman Brittany Westlake (Georgetown, Ontario/Brampton Thunder) opened the scoring at the 17:27 mark. Sophomore defenseman Nadine Cunningham (Bow, N.H./St. Mark's Prep) and junior forward Annmarie Lewis (Newmarket, Ontario/Aurora Panthers) each assisted on the tally. The Panthers tied the game with just 33 seconds left in the period on a goal from Stephanie Newmark.

The Bears turned up the pressure in the third period and junior defenseman Breanna Roy (Orleans, Ontario/Nepean Wildcats) set up Silveira for the eventual game-winner at the 10:27 mark. Almost five minutes later junior forward Caitlin Manahan (St. Albans, Vt./Elmira College) made it a 3-1 Potsdam lead with an assist from senior forward Kristine Faffley (Westmoreland, N.Y./U-Mass Boston). At the 16:40 mark, Silveira iced the game with her second goal on assists from freshman Emma Smetaniuk (Frankford, Ontario/Whitby Wolves) and Brittany Lucky (Kanata, Ontario/Ottawa Senators).

Sophomore goaltender Jen Conophy (Glenmont, N.Y./Albany Ice Cats) made 22 saves for the win, while Plymouth State’s Ali Ponte stopped 30 shots.

Bears Head Coach Jay Green admitted his team started slow, but responded when it counted.

“We were playing a team that hadn’t won a game yet and we seemed to approach this game as if it was going to be easy,” said Green. “We got a lot of pressure early, but weren’t able to finish. But credit our players, they were persistent and scored the three goals late. Our overall effort was good, but our execution has to be better,” Green added.

Potsdam is back in action tomorrow in the 4 p.m. championship, when the Bears face the winner of the Castleton State-Buffalo State contest.