November 2, 2013
Dragons have debut spoiled
Bengals hold on for 5-4 win
The first time SUNY Cortland men faced a two-goal deficit in Friday night’s hockey opener, the Red Dragons were able to pull even with visiting Buffalo State.
But after the Bengals opened up their third two-goal cushion of the contest midway through the final period, the Red Dragons could only trim that deficit in half before the final buzzer blared on a 5-4 Buffalo State victory.
The Alumni Arena home ice setback spoiled the coaching return of Tom Cranfield behind the Cortland bench in this SUNY Athletic Conference and season-opening skate for both sides. Cranfield returns after having previously directed the Red Dragons from 2001-07.
After falling behind 2-0, a power play goal scored by freshman Matt Esposito pulled Cortland even at 2-2 at the 3:12 mark of the second period off assists by Ryan Wagner and Nick Zappia.
After facing a 5-3 deficit when Buffalo State’s Adam Rossi scored an unassisted goal 10:28 into the third period, Cortland cut that margin in half on senior Adam Bevilacqua’s short-handed goal with 59 seconds left to play — but could not deliver the equalizer.
Cortland returns to the ice this evening hosting Fredonia at 7 p.m., whose Blue Devils surprised defending conference champion Oswego 3-2 in overtime last night. In other SUNYAC openers, preseason favorite Plattsburgh blanked rival Potsdam 3-0 and Geneseo topped Morrisville State 6-3.
Cortland finished with a 33-30 shot advantage over the Bengals in a game where the nine goals were scored by nine different players.
Junior Zappia led the Cortland offense with a goal and two assists, as Esposito, Bevilacqua and sophomore Jason Kenney were the other goal-scorers. Returning starting goalie Lyle Rocker came up with 25 saves.
Billy Stakosch scored 20 seconds into the game for Buffalo State, who took a 2-0 lead on a Dan Turgeon power play tally. With three minutes to go in the opening stanza, Kenny scored Cortland’s first goal off assists by Mike Davie and homegrown freshman Casie Garrison.
Buffalo State regained the lead for good just 44 seconds after Esposito’s goal, Ryan Salkeld scoring as the visitors took a 3-2 lead into the final period. Ben Kramer’s unassisted goal in the opening minute of the third period put Buffalo State up 4-2, only to have Zappia’s power play goal off assists by Bevilacqua and A.J. Moyer keep Cortland close.
That’s when Buffalo State went up 5-3 on Rossi’s tally before Bevilacqua’s late short-handed success closed the scoring.
Senior goalie Kevin Carr registered 29 saves for Buffalo State.
CORTLAND WOMEN will open their hockey season at the Oswego State Invitational this weekend, starting with a noontime game with Castleton State from Vermont today.
Coach Earl Utter’s squad will face New Hampshire’s New England College on Sunday in another noon start.
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