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SUNY Potsdam weekly sports update

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POTSDAM - A weekend sweep over SUNY Canton by the men’s hockey team highlighted the efforts of the SUNY Potsdam winter sports teams last week.

MEN’S HOCKEY

The Bears picked up a sweep over SUNY Canton by taking a 5-3 win at home on Friday and then won in an even more convincing fashion by the count of 6-1 on Saturday at Canton.

In Friday’s game, freshman forward Vinny Caligiuri (Shoreham, N.Y.) led the Bears with a goal and an assist for his first collegiate points.

After falling behind 1-0, junior forward Trevor Cope (Swartz Creek, Mich.) scored with a tough angle shot from the left side of the net. Sophomore forward Todd Thomas (Davidsville, Pa.) and junior defenseman Max Fogel (Williamsville, N.Y.) recorded the assists. Potsdam jumped in front with a second power-play goal at 16:39. Sophomore forward Billy Pascalli (Deer Park, N.Y.) tipped a shot from the point past Canton sophomore goalie Louie Puig (Chicago, Ill.).

The Roos would tie it at 2-2, but then Caligiuri scored his first goal as a Bear after a rebound in front of the Canton goal to put the Bears up for good. Junior forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass.) and junior defenseman Dan McCamey (Dayton, Ohio) assisted on the goal.

Junior assistant captain Ryan Miller (Didsbury, Alberta) gave Potsdam a 4-2 advantage on helpers from Caligiuri and junior forward Zach Blake (Campbellford, Ontario) at 8:39 of the third period. Senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta) made it 5-2 at 18:06 with an assist from Thomas.

On Saturday, Potsdam (2-6) handed SUNY Canton a 6-1 drubbing at the Roos House. Senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta) scored two goals, junior forward Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass.) added a goal and an assist and sophomore forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska) chipped in two helpers to lead the Bears.

Bears sophomore goaltender Austin Keiser (Dunwoody, Ga.) finished with 17 saves for his first win of the season.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY

The Bears’ week got stronger as it went along with a 1-1-1 week. After taking a loss on Tuesday at Hamilton College, the team rallied for a tie at SUNY Cortland on Friday and then beat Cortland on Saturday.

Hamilton College (1-2) scored three third period goals to down Potsdam 5-2 in a non-conference road contest on Tuesday night. Senior captain Brittany Lucky (Kanata, Ontario) and freshman forward Jordan Ott (Hilton, N.Y.) each scored for the Bears.

Freshman forward Abby Tardelli (Potsdam, N.Y.) finished with 35 stops.

On Friday, the opportunities were certainly there for Potsdam, but a game encapsulated by stingy goal tending by both teams provided a 0-0 tie in an ECAC West game at SUNY Cortland’s Alumni Arena on Friday night.

The Bears held a robust 40-24 shots on goal advantage including a 14-3 edge in the opening period, but were unable to get one past Cortland sophomore goal tender Deanna Meunier (Parsippany, N.J.), who secured 40 saves.

Bears’ goal tender Alexane Rodrigue (Monkland, Ontario) closed with 24 saves for her first career shutout with Potsdam.

On Saturday, senior captain Izzy Fayerman (Calgary, Alberta), Ott and Amanda Peterson (West Chazy, N.Y.) each scored for the Bears as Potsdam (3-4-2, 2-3-2 ECAC West) defeated SUNY Cortland 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. Rodrigue made 29 saves for her third career win.

SWIMMING/DIVING

In its largest hosted event of the season, Potsdam welcomed in squads from seven other schools during the two-day North Country Invitational at Maxcy Hall Pool.

It was SUNY Oneonta State’s meet for the taking though as the Red Dragons swept both the men’s and women’s team competition. Other teams who competed were Clarkson University, Colby-Sawyer College, Alfred State College, Monroe Community College, Saint Michael’s and Paul Smith’s College (men only).

Potsdam took third place in both men’s and women’s competition.

The Bears demonstrated solid competitive balance throughout as senior Richie Zimmerman (Victor, N.Y.) won the men’s 100-yard breaststroke event in 1:01 flat to spearhead Potsdam’s first day of the meet. The Bears earned at least a top-three finish in eight other events on the day.

Zimmerman once again lead the charge on day two and continued his steady pace for Potsdam as he took the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:15.66 and then teamed with sophomore Ty Zapisek (Syracuse, N.Y.), junior Dan Costa (Spencerport, N.Y.) and freshman Ricky Blackburn (Cicero, N.Y.) for a third-place spot in the 200 medley relay.

On the women’s side, freshman Kristin Canjura (Wilton, N.Y.) stretched out over a long distance time of 19:06.32 to take second in the 1,650-yard freestyle event. The event was additionally beneficial for Potsdam as junior teammate Victoria Blakeslee (Gloversville, N.Y.) rounded up a fourth-place spot at 19:28.18. The pair’s strong finish gave the Potsdam women 24 points toward their score.

Other three-place finishes were accomplished by the women’s 400 medley relay team (4:24.25) that included Emily Kanoza (Syracuse, N.Y.), Ghena Binzer (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Laurissa Coombs (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) and Jennifer Yeager (Greene, N.Y.).

Coombs also took third in the 200 individual medley (2:22.22) as well as Costa in the men’s 200 backstroke (2:04.70) and 100 backstroke (56.30) and Zimmerman in the 200 individual medley (2:03.84).

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Turnovers at the wrong time and some timely three-point baskets by host Clarkson University did in the SUNY Potsdam men’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon as the Golden Knights pulled away late for a 78-62 nonconference victory.

The Bears (1-2 overall) received a monster game from senior forward Rob Duquette (Peru, N.Y.), who a shot a perfect 8-8 from the floor and 6-9 from the free throw line to finish off with game highs of 22 points and 17 rebounds.

But it wasn’t enough.

The Bears led 27-23 at halftime and held a 49-47 lead as late at 9:22 remaining in the second half on junior guard/forward Zac Adams’ (Potsdam, N.Y.) offensive rebound and put back lay up.

But the Golden Knights took the lead back almost immediately on a John Coleman three-pointer. It was followed soon after by a Coleman lay up and a jumper after consecutive turnovers by the Bears.

Combined with a pair of free throws by Jeremy Liss and Clarkson had turned in a 9-0 run that put them up 56-49 with 7:55 remaining.

Potsdam would not challenge to take the lead again.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Rolling out a highly effective three-quarter press and zone defense, Potsdam antagonized SUNY Canton to roll to a 79-42 nonconference victory at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium on Tuesday night.

The Bears (2-0) were jolted by the active hands of their defense, which helped generate 34 turnovers. From that point, Potsdam was able to get running often in transition as it enjoyed a 39-14 advantage on points off turnovers.

Four Potsdam players scored in double figures with junior Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y.), senior Hannah Kmiecinski (Webster, N.Y.) and senior Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.) scoring 12 points apiece. Sophomore forward Katie LaVoie (Malone, N.Y.) had 10 points.

Eleven different players scored for the Bears as it shot 45.5 percent from the field including 10-of-21 from three-point range (47.6%). On Potsdam’s 30 field goals, it assisted on 22 of them.

On Saturday, Hamilton College held off Potsdam 76-69 in an overtime thriller. Senior guard Chenice Russell (Moira, N.Y.) led the Bears with a career-high 13 points. Junior guard Veronica Sapp (Potsdam, N.Y.) also had a career day with 12 points.

Potsdam found itself in an 18-11 hole at the 11:20 mark of the first half, but used a 17-9 run over the next six minutes to grab its first lead of the contest at 28-27. Freshman forward Patti Dorgler (Floral Park, N.Y.) hit three straight field goals to spark the run. The Continentals answered with a 10-5 stretch to reclaim the lead at 37-32. However, the Bears weren’t done. A layup from senior captain Jessica Kouzan (Webster, N.Y.) with five seconds left capped an 8-0 run to give Potsdam a 40-37 lead at the break.

Junior captain Bailey Weigel (East Amherst, N.Y.) sank two free throws to tie the score and the Continentals missed a long three at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Hamilton’s Dani Feigin drained a three with 39 seconds on the clock to give Hamilton the lead for good at 72-69. The Continentals sank their four final free throws to escape with the 76-69 final.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The men’s basketball team will play at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

All other teams will resume play next week after the Thanksgiving break.

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