POTSDAM - A pair of non-league wins at home by the mens hockey team highlighted last weeks SUNY Potsdam winter sports action.
The Bears reeled off consecutive home victories against St. Anselms on Friday and Saturday, winning 5-2 and 2-1.
The match up featured former SUNY Potsdam coach and Bears Hall of Famer Ed Seney returning to his old stomping grounds. Seney led Potsdam to the schools lone SUNYAC championship during the 1995-96 season, but was now seeking a victory as a visitor.
Freshman center Vinny Caligiuri (Shoreham, N.Y.) and the Bears had other ideas.
Caliguiri picked up his first career hat trick, senior goaltender Shane Talarico (Greensburgh, Pa.) provided another strong performance between the pipes and Potsdam defeated Saint Anselms 5-2 to win for the fourth time in five games.
Potsdam (4-7 overall) came out as the aggressors in facing their old coach as junior left defenseman Erick Ware (Huntsville, Ala.) and Caligiuri scored in the opening six minutes and 16 seconds.
Ware, a 2011-2012 member of the SUNYAC All-Rookie team and All-SUNYAC third team, racked up his ninth career goal and first of the season.
Potsdam carried a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. First periods have been advantageous for the Bears as Potsdam has outscored opponents 13-8 in that time frame.
Caligiuri found the back of the net again late in the second period after junior left wing Ken Simon (Norwell, Mass.) got out on a two-on-one, wrapped around the net and delivered a centering pass on the door step.
St. Anselms (3-4-2 overall) answered almost immediately when senior defenseman Greg Merrill (Brighton, Mich.) cut the deficit back to two just before the end of the second period.
Caligiuri picked up his final goal at 2:21 into the third period with a slap shot from inside the circle. Caliguiri has five goals in his last five outings.
Senior goaltender Shane Talarico (Greensburgh, Pa.) recorded a season-high with 32 saves to improve to 3-0. Talarico just beat out his previous high of 31 saves in a 3-2 overtime win in the Bears last game against SUNY Cortland on December 7.
On Saturday, Potsdam (5-7) got clutch scoring to complete a two-game sweep of Saint Anselm (3-5-2) with a 2-1 win. Senior goaltender Shane Talarico (Greensburg, Pa.) made 28 saves in another stellar performance to improve to 4-0 on the season. Senior captain Mike Arnold (Didsbury, Alberta) and sophomore forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage Alaska) each scored for the Bears, who are now 5-1 in their last six games.
Needing a strong start against the dangerous Hawks, Potsdam got one. Just 1:32 into the contest freshman forward Tommy Telesca (Selden, N.Y.) centered a pass from behind the net and sophomore forward Todd Thomas (Davidsville, Pa.) fired it on a screened St. As senior goalie Nick Dries (Commerce Township, Mich.) and Arnold tapped it home for a 1-0 lead. The Bears moved the puck well for several minutes after the goal, but didnt add to the lead. The Hawks slowly evened the play, but Talarico was on top of his game between the pipes. Potsdam also killed off two power plays and held the one goal advantage after 20 minutes.
The first half of the middle stanza was a defensive stalemate, but a series of penalties opened up the game over the final 10 minutes. On an odd-man rush, sophomore forward Matt Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska) beat Dries through the five-hole after a perfect pass from sophomore defenseman Brad Campagna (Monroe, N.Y.) for a 2-0 lead. The rest of the period was penalty after penalty, but the score didnt change. Potsdam killed off four more Hawk man-advantages and Talarico added eight more saves to his total after 40 minutes.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Freshman center Vinny Caligiuri (Shoreham, N.Y.) recorded his first career hat trick in a 5-2 win against St. Anselms on Friday.
Senior goaltender Shane Talarico (Greensburg, Pa.) made a combined 60 saves in two victories against St. Anselms to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The mens basketball team will be hosting three games this week starting on Tuesday versus Manhattanville at 7 p.m. The Bears will continue its home stand with conference games against Brockport on Friday at 8 p.m. and Geneseo on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The womens basketball team will host Brockport on Friday at 6 p.m. and Geneseo on Saturday at 2 p.m. in SUNYAC contests.
The mens hockey team will host Castleton on Friday and Skidmore on Saturday in nonconference games. Both start at 7 p.m.
The womens hockey team will be on the road at Castleton on Tuesday at 4 p.m.