Sunday, February 12, 2012


BROCKPORT, N.Y.—The Brockport Golden Eagles (9-12-3, 5-8-2 SUNYAC) scored three third period goals to defeat the SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team (8-13-2, 6-8-0). The loss drops the Bears into a 6th place tie with Brockport for the final SUNYAC playoff spot. Potsdam topped Brockport 5-3 in Maxcy on Nov. 19.

The Golden Eagles outshot Potsdam 20-11 in the first period, but thanks to the sharp play from reigning SUNYAC Goalie of the Week Kevin McFarland, the game was scoreless after one.

Nick Panepinto drew first blood for the Golden Eagles at the 7:29 mark of the second period. Sophomore forward Adam Place, back in the lineup after four games, got Potsdam even just 41 seconds later. Senior captain Sy Nutkevitch recorded his 99th career point with an assist on the play. Freshman forward Vinny Buttitta notched the goal’s second assist. At 14:09, the Bears grabbed their only lead of the game as freshman forward Trevor Cope struck with assists from freshman forward Carlo Ahee and sophomore defenseman Nick Avgerinos. Mike Baxter answered exactly two minutes later for Brockport and the game entered the second intermission knotted at 2-2.

Baxter scored his second of the game 6:58 into the final stanza to give Brockport the lead for good. At the 8:38 mark, Troy Polino opened up a two-goal Golden Eagle lead. The Bears got back to within one 13 seconds later as senior Mike Foy. Senior defenseman Hunter Syrydiuk and junior forward Bill Tsekos each assisted on the goal. However, a Potsdam comeback wasn’t in the cards as Panepinto got his second goal to close the scoring at 5-3.

In goal, McFarland finished with 40 saves, while Golden Eagles goalie Oliver Wren made 31 stops to earn the victory. Potsdam was 0-3 on the power play and Brockport finished 0-5.

Potsdam currently still holds the upperhand in tiebreaking scenarios. Should the Bears and Brockport both win one game next weekend, Potsdam would clinch a playoff spot due to the second SUNYAC tiebreaking scenario, total conference wins. In that case the Bears would finish with seven wins to the Golden Eagles’ six. Or the Bears could clinch a spot with a Brockport loss to Morrisville on Saturday, Feb. 18. However, a Brockport win or tie combined with two Potsdam losses next weekend, would give the Golden Eagles the playoff berth.

The Bears look to cement their postseason appearance next Friday, Feb. 17, at Cortland. The puck drops at 7 p.m.