POTSDAM, N.Y.-The SUNY Potsdam women's hockey team (3-3) defeated St. Michael's College (2-7) by a score of 8-3 on Tuesday night. Junior forward Natalie Wasielewski (Carnegie, PA./Pittsburgh Pens Elite) led the Bears with a four-point night, while freshman forward Kaylee Merrill (Wasilla, Alaska/Anchorage North Stars) and senior forward Lucy Condon (Waterloo, Ontario/Waterloo Ravens) each contributed two goals.
The Bears got off to a quick start Tuesday night, scoring three first period goals and not looking back. Potsdam got on the score sheet early in the game, as junior forward Alexis Clark (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) fired home a rebound off a point shot from junior defenseman Allie Banas (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) at the 15:52 mark. Sophomore defenseman Ellie Cleary (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) recorded an assist on the play as well.
The Bears wasted no time extending their lead, as just 12 seconds later Merrill capitalized on a breakaway chance after intercepting a Saint Michael's pass at the blue line. Following the Bears hot start, play evened out for the remainder of the period.
The Purple Knights were unable to keep the Bears offense contained however, allowing the final goal of the stanza with 2:08 left in the period. Condon scored the third goal for the Bears, assisted by Wasielewski and senior forward Miranda Kolb (Watertown, N.Y./SUNY Cortland).
The Bears offensive explosion continued in the second period. The Bears scored four more goals to take a commanding 7-2 lead into the third period. The scoring got started on Merrill's second goal of the night, as she fired home a shot off a centering pass from Emily DelleNeve (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) at the 17:00 mark. Cleary added another assist on the play.
The Bears continued to surge, adding their fifth goal to the board on a shot by junior defenseman Kiera Thacker (Oakville, Ontario/Hamilton Hawks). Wasielewski tallied another assist on the goal.
Saint Michael's was able to get on the board at the 10:04 mark on a goal by Krista Ferrari (Dunstable, Mass./East Coast Wizards), assisted by Riley Nichols (Gilford, NH./Tilton School). The Bears quickly regained control following the Purple Knights' goal, adding a sixth tally with 7:33 remaining in the period on a goal from Kolb. Wasielewski and Banas each recorded assists.
The Purple Knights were able to find the net one final time in the period, as Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) scored on the power play with assists from Jordan Monbouquette (Wayland, MA/Lawrence Academy) and Alissa Sullivan (Hingham, MA./Hingham). The Bears closed out the scoring in the second period as Wasielewski fed Condon for a breakaway opportunity, resulting in the Bears' seventh goal. Kolb recorded the second assist on the play.
The third period saw less offensive action with each team recording only one goal. Saint Michael's opened up the scoring in the third with a goal by Maeghan Kennard (Hamlin, N.Y./Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles) that was assisted by Boscia and Monbouquette. The Bears continued their strong play despite the Purple Knight goal, finding the net for the final time on a power-play goal from Cleary with assists from DellaNeve and freshman forward Alex Quinn (Potsdam, N.Y./ St. Lawrence Steel).
McCabe finished the night with 18 saves, while all three of the Purple Knights goalies saw action at the other end, combining for 26 stops. The Bears were 1-4 on the power play and Saint Michael's finished 1-5.
The eight goals were the second most in Potsdam's NCAA era. They scored 10 in a 10-0 blanking of Chatham on February 10, 2012.
Next, the Bears head to Morrisville State on Friday for a 4 p.m. showdown with the Mustangs. Potsdam opened the season with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Morrisville on November 1.