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Freshman defenseman Reed Smith scored the game-winning goal with 1:26 left in overtime Thursday to lift Nazareth to a 3-2 victory over visiting Geneseo in the Golden Flyers' first-ever men's hockey game at the Sports Centre at MCC.
The goal came off an assist from sophomore Julius Tamasy, who took the overtime face-off, and came on the power play. Geneseo's Justin Scharfe was in the penalty box for boarding.
The victory came in front of a spirited crowd of 1,812 and was the first game of the season for both teams.
Nazareth won despite lopsided 52-23 disadvantage in shots. Nazareth goalie Ed Zdolshek was named the game's first star after making 50 saves. Junior defenseman Jordan Ciccarello was named the second star after scoring the Golden Flyers' first two goals. He scored Nazareth's first goal ever at 9:51 of the first period, an unassisted tally that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Geneseo tied the score with just :01 left in the opening period as Corbin Rosmarin scored off a rebound of a shot by Scharfe.
After a scoreless second period, Rosmarin's second goal of the game gave the Knights a 2-1 advantage. Scharfe and Alex Lubczuk earned assists. Ciccarello's second goal of the game came at 6:32 of the third on the power play and was assisted by Smith and Tamasy.
Geneseo had a 16-10 advantage in shots in the third period, but the momentum turned in overtime when Scharfe drew the penalty for boarding at 1:51. Tamasy took the final face-off for Nazareth and directed the puck back to the point for Smith, whose wrist shot eluded Geneseo goalie Bryan Haude for the game-winning goal.
"It's an exciting start to the season," said Nazareth Coach George Roll. "The guys played hard the whole way and took advantage of the penalty in overtime. Also, a great game for our goalie."
Nazareth and Geneseo return to action Saturday at Geneseo for another non-conference game at 4 p.m.
Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.