MILTON, Mass. – The Curry College men's hockey team defeated SUNY Potsdam, 4-3, in non-conference action on Saturday evening at the Max Ulin Rink in Milton, Mass. With the win the Colonels improve to 5-7-2 overall. The loss drops the Bears to 7-5-2 on the season.
Curry came out strong in the opening period netting the first goal of the game just 2:03 into the stanza. After winning the opening face-off, the Colonels kept possession of the puck in the Bears defensive zone. Sophomore Phil Kiss (Burlington, Ontario) scored his first tally on the season after one-timing a shot past the glove of Potsdam's sophomore goaltender Brendan McMenimen (Merrimac, Mass.). Kiss was assisted by junior James Murphy (Malden, Mass.). The Bears evened the score just five minutes later on an unassisted goal by senior Jake Rivera (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). Rivera intercepted a pass at center ice beating Curry's junior netminder Brett Sinclair (St. Catharines, Ontario). The Colonels regained the lead when they took advantage of a power-play situation. The Bears were called for boarding at 11:12 on the clock. With only 25 seconds into the power-play junior Tyler Vankleef (Dundas, Ontario) scored his first of two on the night. Junior Jake Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald (Cary, N.C.) were credited with the assists. Potsdam held a slight edge in shots at 15-14.
The second saw a combined total of four goals, two by each team. Curry tallied back-to-back scores early into the period to take a demanding 4-1 advantage. Sophomore Shane Tracy (Bow, N.H.) capitalized on a man-up situation at the 3:05 minute mark. Freshman Mack Heisinger (Winnipeg, Manitoba) sent a pass to sophomore Adam Valadao (Ajax, Ontario) who found classmate Tracy open in front of the net. Vankleef netted the eventual game-winner just 1:23 minutes later. Vankleef took a slap shot that sailed over the shoulder of McMenimen. Valadao and Jake Heisinger earned the helpers. Potsdam fought back to get within one before the end of the second to head into the final period with a score of 4-3 showing on the board. The Colonels were called for a two-minute hooking penalty at 9:46. With under a minute expired off the penalty, the Bears senior Matt Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska) sent one past Sinclair off a pass from junior Jake Butler (Atlanta, Ga.). Thompson earned his second and his team's third with 5:20 left to play. Rivera had the puck at the blueline and sent it to Thompson who was open just outside the crease. Curry held a one shot lead at 14-13.
Both goaltenders were solid between the pipes in the third period holding their opponents scoreless through the 20 minutes. McMenimen came up with all 11 shots he faced while Sinclair stopped nine. Each team had scoring opportunities off of man-up advantages but they were unsuccessful at finding the back of the net. Curry was able to hold on to the 4-3 win, their fourth victory in a row.
Curry went 2-4 on power plays while Potsdam was 1-7. The Colonels had 39 shots while the Bears had 37.
Sinclair made an impressive 34 saves in net for the Colonels in the win. McMenimen had 35 stops in net for the Bears in the loss.
Curry is back in action on Friday, January 15 when they play Hobart in a non-conference match-up in Oaks Bluffs, Mass. at the Martha's Vineyard Tournament at 7:30 p.m. SUNY Potsdam returns to action tomorrow when they travel to Western New England for a 5:40 p.m. start.