Potsdam Stops OFA Streak; SR, Massena Win
BY DAVE SHEA
The trio of Will Varney, Romano Sergi and Bryan Jones figured in all five goals as Division I opponent Potsdam confidently scored a 5-3 win and stopped a 10-game winning streak by OFA in an NAC interdivisional game at the Edgar Newell Memorial Golden Dome on Wednesday.
The Senior Night loss dropped the Blue Devils (7-4-0, 12-5-1) out of a first place tie with Norwood-Norfolk (8-3-0, 10-6-1) in the NAC Division II race. Third place Salmon River (6-5-0, 9-9) pulled within two points of OFA with a 5-4 overtime win over the Islanders.
In other NAC action on the night Massena tightened its grip on the Division I lead with a 5-1 win over Canton and St. Lawrence Central shaded Saranac Lake - Lake Placid 5-4 in a nonleague game.
Potsdam (4-10-2) leveled its NAC record to 3-3-1 and moved into a second place tie with Canton (3-3-1, 3-12-1).
The Stoners' aggressive forechecking led to opportunistic conversions for three goals in the first period and two in the second.
Before the game OFA seniors Drew Mills, Stephen Morley, Harrison Wert, Nolan O'Donnell, Mark Barr and Kelson Hooper were honored for their contributions to OFA Hockey for the past four years which included a sectional title and a home game in the state tournament.
In the current season the seniors provided outstanding leadership in the 10-game winning streak which vaulted the team out of a winless start and into the thick of the Division II race and to top 10 state ranking.
"When we as a team had to deal with obstacles and adversity this year, these six young men stood up to the plate and met those challenges," said OFA Coach Jon Frederick who will lead his team to Canton on Friday looking for a quick rebound.
"We will regroup".
Varney scored from Sergi and Jones and Jones scored unassisted to give the Sandstoners a 2-0 lead which was erased quickly when Stephen Morley scored a pair of goals from Nolan O'Donnell. Potsdam took a 3-2 first period lead as Varney scored from directly in front of the net from Sergi and Jones.
Potsdam took a 5-2 lead when Logan McGargar scored from Jones and Varney and Jones scored from Sergi in the second period. OFA produced the only goal of the third period when Caleb Spears connected unassisted.
Cole Eakins stopped 24 shots backstopping the win while Kelson Hooper finished with 27 saves for OFA.
"Potsdam came to play and we did not have our A game today. This game is a reality check for the boys before our last two games plus the playoffs. We did a good job bouncing back after they went up 2-0 but then we made too many mistake in the defensive zone," said Frederick.
"We were giving up point blank shots in front of Hoop. You have to credit Potsdam, they came to play. But I thought Steven Morley, Nolan O'Donnell and Drew Costello had solid games on the blue line."
Salmon River 5 - Islanders 4: The Shamrocks (6-5, 9-9) picked up a precious two points in the Division II race when Tim Cook Jr. scored from Stone Chubb in overtime. Cook finished with two goals and one assist in the game where Alex Oakes delivered one goal and one assist and Cobie Cree netted a single goal in support of a 23-save effort in goal by Ryan Oakes.
Zach Durant passed out two assists and Evan Collette, Jared Showen, Kade Cook and Lukew Miller all figured in one setup.
Matt Aubertine scored a pair of goals and set up a Hunter Gray goal to spark the Islanders (2-8-0) and Owen Johnson also scored while Clayton Hall stopped 24 shots in goal. Joe Papin and Trenton Barnes also passed out assists in the contest.
Massena 5 - Canton 1: The Raiders (6-1-1) closed in on the Division I banner led by a two-goal, two-assist effort by Nick Morrell and one goal and three assists from Nick Linsted. Zane Wilmhurst and Mikey Kuhn (1 assist) each netted single goals to back a 29-save effort from Ben Rogers.
Canton's lone goal came in the first period by Rhett Palmer from Daniel Mahoney and Hayden Todd handled 32 saves.