The Geneseo men's hockey team continued SUNYAC play on the road over the weekend, defeating Plattsburgh 4-2 on Friday and Potsdam 5-2 on Saturday. The Ice Knights (14-8-0, 8-3-0 in the conference) trail Oswego for first place in the conference by four points with three games remaining.
On Friday, the Ice Knights traveled to Plattsburgh, aiming to defeat the Cardinals for the fourth straight time. Geneseo struck first only a minute and a half into the game when junior Trent Cassan scored his 15th goal of the season with assists from seniors Mitch Stephens and Brett Bestwick. Plattsburgh tied the game several minutes later with a power-play goal past junior goaltender Derek Jokic. Cassan then tallied a power-play goal that gave the Ice Knights the lead with only one second remaining in the first period.
On the power play in the second period, Geneseo took a 3-1 lead when sophomore Chris Kestell connected on his sixth goal of the season. The two teams traded goals in the third period, with Bestwick scoring on the power play in the final minute for the Ice Knights.
"Having Brett back in the line-up might be one of the most important keys to our playoff run," said head coach Chris Schultz. "He brings the whole package to the table; he can be a physical presence, score goals, and most importantly, bring a tremendous defensive ability to man-down and even strength situations."
Stephens assisted on all four goals in the game, giving him 42 on the season, good enough for second in the nation. Plattsburgh outshot Geneseo 42-18 in the game, but the Ice Knights converted on their power play chances, going 3-7 in the game.
Junior goaltender Derek Jokic picked up the win with 40 saves in 42 chances. "He seems to find a way to keep us in a game when we're not giving our best effort or when we're getting bad bounces," said Schultz of Jokic. "He is without question our best penalty killer."
On Saturday evening, Geneseo played Potsdam with a chance to sweep the season series from the Bears for the first time in three years. Potsdam scored first late in the first period, but junior Mathieu Cyr scored his 11th goal of the season just ten seconds later to tie the game.
Geneseo opened up the second period when senior Mike MacDonald scored his 13th goal of the season with Cyr and freshman Sebastian Panetta assisting. The Ice Knights extended their lead when Stephens scored the eventual game-winning short-handed goal several minutes later.
Geneseo outscored Potsdam 2-1 in the third period, with Panetta scoring midway through and Bestwick adding an empty net goal. The Ice Knights outshot Potsdam 38-28 in the 5-2 win.
The Ice Knights return for their first home games in two months this weekend when they face off against conference foes Fredonia and Buffalo State. "Fans should expect a team that is hungry to try to win the conference outright," added Schultz. "We will need to take care of business ourselves though and get some help from other teams when they play against Oswego. Our guys are looking forward to seeing our home fans again."