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Local college teams gear up for playoffs

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Potsdam Hockey Teams Open Playoffs



POTSDAM - The SUNY Potsdam men’s and women’s hockey teams return to the playoffs this week. The third-seeded Bears’ men travel to sixth-seeded SUNY Geneseo for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Ice Knights this evening while the fifth-seeded women make the trek to fourth-seeded Utica College this Friday to battle the Pioneers at 7 p.m.

MEN AT GENESEO

The men have won three of their last four contests to close out the season with a 9-15-1 overall mark and a 6-10 record in the conference. The Bears are led by offensively by veterans Adam Place (9g-12a—21pts), Mike Arnold (16-4-20) and Matt Viola (5-15-20). Arnold’s average of 0.76 goals-per-game ranks sixth in the nation and third in the SUNYAC. In goal, Potsdam has the reliable tandem of Austin Keiser and Shane Talarico.

Keiser has started 14 games, posting a 5-8-1 record, .886 save percentage and 4.05 goals-against-average. The freshman stopped 29 shots in Potsdam’s postseason-clinching 2-1 win over Cortland last Saturday. Talarico is 3-4 in eight games with a .880 save percentage and 4.40 g.a.a. The junior stopped 24 shots in Potsdam’s 4-3 overtime win against Geneseo on Feb. 9.

The Bears split the season series with the Ice Knights this season. Potsdam dropped a 6-2 road decision on Nov. 17 and upset the then 14th-ranked Geneseo squad 4-3 in overtime at Massena Arena on Feb. 9.

Tickets for Wednesday’s men’s game are $6 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. There will be no charge for children under five or SUNY students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

WOMEN IN UTICA

The women finished the year at 10-13-2 overall and 6-9-1 in the ECAC West.

The Bears moved up from seventh place to fifth place with two wins over Buffalo State in must-win contests last weekend. Amanda Lucky (6-9-15), Jenn Crawford (7-5-12) and Izzy Fayerman (7-5-12) top the Bears’ scoring list this season. In goal, Jen Conophy and Dawna Salvarinas have split time as they have the previous two years. Conophy, this week’s Goalie of the Week, is 3-8-2 this season in 13 starts with an .891 save percentage and a 3.55 g.a.a. The senior posted her second career shutout over the Bengals to help Potsdam clinch a playoff berth on Sunday. Savarinas had a career year with a 7-4 record, a .917 save percentage and a 2.47 g.a.a. The junior also posted shutouts against Oswego, Cortland and Chatham this season.

Potsdam tied Utica 1-1 on the road on Jan. 12, before falling 2-0 at Cheel Arena on Jan. 13. The Bears have now reached the playoffs in three of their first five varsity seasons.

Tickets for Friday’s women’s game are $8 for adults and $4 for students (any college student with ID) or children 18 and under. Fans can purchase playoff tickets at the Utica Memorial Auditorium Box Office ((315) 738-0164), Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/259.



Potsdam Swimmers/Divers at SUNYAC’s



POTSDAM – The men and women’s swimming and diving teams head to the State University of New York Athletic Conference Championships this week.

The tournament begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday at Erie Community College in Buffalo. A strong men’s team looks to continue their success into the post season. The women’s team is in search of strong performances by several individuals to climb the SUNYAC ranks. Last season, the men finished seventh and the women placed ninth.

The championships mark the final chance for members of the men and women’s teams to break school records and qualify for the NCAA DIII Championships on March 20-23 in Shenandoah, TX.

The men enter the SUNYAC championships with a perfect 6-0 duel meet record this year. Senior Alexander Taylor (Port Ewen, N.Y.) highlights the Bears squad as a first team All-SUNYAC selection and Outstanding Male Swimmer last season. Taylor looks to defend his titles in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and is currently the top seed in both events. The senior also has his sights set on the grueling 400 IM with one of the top times entering the race. This season, the Port Ewen native recorded a school record in the 400 IM (4:17.51) and broke his previous record in the 200 breaststroke (2:06.12) with a NCAA B qualifying time. Junior Richie Zimmerman (Victor, N.Y.) will look to make an impact as well.

Zimmerman comes in on a high note with a school record performance in the 200 backstroke (1:59.80) earlier this year at the Fredonia Invitational.

The junior is seeded behind his teammate in the 200 breaststroke.

The women return to the SUNYAC Championships with a goal of improving on last year’s performance. The Bears are led by seniors Liz Ringer (Queensbury, N.Y.), Paige Montroy (Cape Vincent, N.Y.), and Kylie Barr (Ogdensburg, N.Y.). Ringer earned five first place finishes to close out the final stretch going into the tournament. Sophomore Victoria Blakeslee (Gloversville, N.Y.) joins her teammates after finishing a strong regular season. The sophomore closed out the final three meets with six individual victories and will seek to continue her success at the championship meet.

Wednesday will feature the first round of preliminary dives beginning at noon. The following three-days will feature preliminary races and diving during the morning sessions, starting at 10 a.m. each day, followed by event finals in the evening at 6 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the door for both prelims and finals each day. The cost is

$6 per adult and $3 for children ages 6-12. SUNYAC college students with ID and kids five and under are free. All-sessions passes will also be made available at the door. An adult pass is $30 and is good for all sessions (prelims and finals). Included with the pass will be one heat sheet for each session. A child pass is $15 and good for all-sessions (prelims and finals). No heat sheet will be included with this pass.



SLU Women Host League Semi Tonight



CANTON - The St. Lawrence University women’s basketball team is set to host Skidmore College in the Liberty League Tournament semi-finals this evening in the Burkman Gymnasium at 7 p.m.

No. 2 St. Lawrence and No. 3 Skidmore split their two Liberty League contests this season. The Saints earned a 67-52 win at home on Jan. 8, but the Thoroughbreds countered with a hard-fought 46-44 win in Saratoga Springs, NY on Feb. 5.

Though St. Lawrence has dropped four of its last six games, the Saints are unbeaten at home against

Liberty League opponents. The Saints are led in scoring by Kara McDuffee and Kelly Legg, both who average in double digits.

Legg became the 12th player in Saints’ women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point milestone against William Smith on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Skidmore, which has won only once in the month of February, is led by sophomore Angela Botiba. Botiba is the lone Thoroughbred scoring in double figures, but Coach Bennett’s team has solid depth.

Tonight’s winner will face the winner of the #1 Vassar and #4 William Smith semifinal at the highest remaining seed.

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