Men's Ice Hockey Defeated in Home Opener by SUNY Potsdam

Men's Ice Hockey Defeated in Home Opener by SUNY Potsdam

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey team allowed the last three goals over the final 7:51 while falling to the State University of New York at Potsdam, 5-2, on Saturday in Cairns Arena. The squads finished up their season-opening home-and-home series. The Purple Knights are 0-1-1 while the Bears are now 1-0-1.

Senior Sam Finkelstein (South Burlington, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) tallied a goal and an assist for the Purple Knights while classmate Eric Salzillo (Johnston, R.I./Boston Bandits) contributed a goal, going 17-for-28 in faceoffs. Finkelstein turned in his second career multi-point game. Junior Chris Johnson (Duxbury, Mass./Pomfret School) stopped 25 shots. Saint Michael's matched SUNY Potsdam's 30 shots. Senior Dylan Vander Esch had a hat trick for the Bears as first-year Joey Sollazzo pitched in two goals. Junior Nate Skidmore had 28 saves.

Finkelstein picked up junior Jack Ouellette's (Arlington, Mass./Dexter School) deflected shot at 4:21 of the first period near the crease and sent it in at the five-hole to put the Purple Knights up 1-0. Vander Esch's equalizer came at 10:53 in the second stanza after stealing the puck from the top of the offensive blue line, skating it down, and dragging it across the crease and tucking it to the inside of the left post.

SUNY Potsdam pulled ahead at 5:54 in the third after a Sollazzo shot was deflected off a Saint Michael's defenseman to the back of the net. Salzillo tied it up 32 seconds later after receiving Finkelstein's pass and roofing a back-hander into the left corner of the net.

With the Purple Knights on a power play, Sollazzo stole a pass near the Saint Michael's blue line and skated in to beat Johnson's blocker side for the game-winning goal at 12:09. Around the 15-minute mark, Saint Michael's nearly tied it again as sophomore John Barry's (South Boston, Mass./Deerfield Academy) left-side shot hit the corner of the frame. The final two Bear goals came from Vander Esch at 16:49 and 18:34, with the first finishing a two-on-one rush from the SUNY Potsdam zone and his second on a breakaway to an empty net.

The Purple Knights travel to Saint Anselm College on Friday to begin Northeast-10 Conference action at 7 p.m. The two teams tied for the NE10 regular-season title last year.