Sophomore Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) tallied a power play goal with just 1:18 left in regulation to propel the men's ice hockey squad to a 3-2 victory over SUNY Potsdam in a non-conference contest on Friday night at Lynch Arena/Blackstone Valley Sports Center.
SUNY Potsdam took the early 1-0 lead at the 6:27 mark of the first period on a power play goal by freshman Dylan Vander Esch (San Jose, Calif.). Johnson & Wales responded at the 16:35 mark as junior Josh Obregon (Omaha, Neb.) scored with assists to freshman Alan Boozer (Detroit, Mich.) and junior Cody Sarmiento (Sarasota, Fla.) to knot the game at 1-1 heading into the locker room after the first period of play.
The visiting Bears regained the 2-1 advantage just 2:00 into the second stanza after an unassisted goal by senior Zach Blake (Campbellford, Ontario). Once again, JWU responded and the Wildcats tied the game at 2-2 when sophomore Connor Bates (Laconia, N.J.) put in a pass from fellow sophomore Ben Brouillard (Somerset, Mass.) at the 4:27 mark. The second stanza ended in a 2-2 deadlock.
After battling back and forth throughout the scoreless third period, Brucato provided the heroics for the Wildcats, scoring the power play goal with assists to Brouillard and senior Jason Healy (Goshen, N.Y.) for the 3-2 victory.
Sophomore Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) recorded 26 stops to earn the win for JWU while junior Jon Hall (Dexter, N.Y.) had 20 saves in the setback for SUNY Potsdam.
With the victory Johnson & Wales improves to 8-5-1 on the season while SUNY Potsdam falls to 5-7-1 for the year. The Wildcats are back in action on Friday, January 16th when they host Buffalo State in a non-conference contest at Lynch Arena/BVSC at 7:10 p.m.