Nationally ranked Neumann handed Fredonia State a 5-2 defeat Friday in the first of a two-game series.
Mike Rey broke a 1-1 tie with his third goal of the season. With the teams skating 4 on 4, Rey muscled his way out of the right corner with the puck. He cut across the goal crease and beat Blue Devil goaltender Jeff Holloway to the far side at 5:39.
The Knights (12-3-0), ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III, led the rest of the way.
OBSERVER?Photo by Justin Goetz
Fredonia State’s John O’Connor clears the puck from along the boards during his team’s non-conference game against Neumann.
"It was a good, hard-fought game," Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. "The difference in the game was Neumann converted on their power play opportunities and we didn't capitalize as much on ours."
Both teams played with equal shares of energy throughout the first period and both goaltenders made key saves. Holloway made a pad save which drew a loud cheer from his teammates and Neumann's Ross MacKinnon reciprocated during a Fredonia State power play midway through the period.
A misplay in the neutral zone led to the first Neumann goal. Cory Park gathered in the puck near center ice when a Fredonia State player was unable to control it in his skates. Park continued up center ice and whistled a rising slapshot from just inside the blue line. It was his team-leading ninth goal and gave Neumann a 1-0 lead at 18:19.
The Blue Devils (6-6-3) scored the equalizer with a power-play goal at 5:18 of the second period. Mat Hehr was credited with his sixth goal of the season after he deflected a shot from the blue line by Bryan Ross.
The Knights answered with Rey's goal, then gained control in the third period. Andrew Love made it 3-1 early in the final stanza. Fredonia State's Jared Wynia pumped life back into his team when he scored off a scramble at the 1:43 mark. The goal was Wynia's team-leading eighth of the season.
"The goal at the start of the third, that was a tough time to give up a goal," Meredith added. "We bounced back with one of our own, but that was a tough one to give up."
William Lacasse flipped a short shot up and over Holloway at 4:33 as the Knights regained a two-goal lead. Dave Gervais scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining.
The Blue Devils outshot the Knights, 29-28.
"We're doing some good things," Meredith concluded. "We just have to find ways to finish."
The teams are back in action 3 p.m. today.
Devils win by one
GENESEO - The Fredonia State men's basketball team played another tight game and came away with a 68-67 victory over Geneseo as Kevin Mitchell hit the game-winning free throw with a fraction of a second left.
Geneseo had just tied the game with a pair of free throws with :09 seconds remaining. The Devils then turned the ball over, only to have Dalton Kashmer steal it right back. Kashmer attempted a layup and Mitchell grabbed the miss. Mitchell was then fouled and sent to the line for the game winner.
There were several lead changes in the closing minutes.
With the Devils up 64-63, Geneseo's Ryan Riefenhausen converted a layup at 1:17 to give Geneseo a 65-64 lead. Fredonia State marched down the court and regained the lead following a layup by Kevin Mitchell with :55 seconds left to play.
After a Geneseo timeout, the Devils' Damien Goodwin stole the ball with :20 seconds left and was immediately fouled. Goodwin missed the first free throw and converted the second to give the Devils a 67-65 edge.
Following a foul on their next possession, Geneseo's Connor Fedge took his turn on the line, converting both to tie the game, 67-all.
On the ensuing possession, Kevin Mitchell was fouled by Mike Hoy with :00.1 second left and nailed the first free throw to seal the win. He intentionally missed his second shot and left no time for the Knights to get off a shot.
Statistically, the game was about as even as could be. The two squads played to a 29-all tie at halftime and neither team led by more than eight points at any time during the game.
Both teams had a solid game from the field. The Devils shot 52 percent (25 of 48) while Geneseo connected 54 percent (27 of 50). The Devils held a slight edge in rebounds, 26-23, and both teams had 15 turnovers. The biggest edge came at the free throw line. The Devils were 13 of 16 while Geneseo made only seven trips to the line, converting five times.
Geneseo fell to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the SUNYAC. They were led by Matt Curry with 26 points.
Kashmer led the Devils with 16 points. Goodwin pitched in 14 while Julius Bryant and Mitchell had 10 apiece. Mitchell also had a team-high six rebounds.
The Devils improve to 7-5 overall and 2-4 in SUNYAC play. They travel to Brockport today.
GENESEO - The Fredonia State women's basketball team dropped a road game at Geneseo, 71-50, on Friday evening.
Fredonia State was led by Becky Hebert with 17 points and Liz Wierbinski with 9 rebounds. Nicole Calbi had 5 assists and Jaimie Warren had 3 steals.
Geneseo scored the game's first nine points and led wire to wire. The Devils turned in a strong second half, outscoring the Knights 40-17, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Geneseo was led by Melissa Graham with 12 points. They improved to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
The Devils fall to 5-7 overall and 1-5 in SUNYAC play. They travel to Brockport this afternoon.