Hockey splits weekend games

The men's hockey team hosted a pair of games last weekend, first dropping a dramatic overtime affair to Buffalo State and then bouncing back the following day to pick up a victory over Fredonia.

In Friday's contest, the Tigers came to town and wasted little time making their mark, scoring just 40 seconds into the game to set an early tone. Geneseo quickly answered, however, as sophomore Dan Brown tallied five minutes later on assists from freshmen Allan Charbonneau and Dan Sullivan to take advantage of an early power play. With the score tied to begin the second period, freshman Andrew Rygiel assisted on senior Mathieu Cyr's fifth goal of the season to stake the Ice Knights to a 2-1 advantage.

The Tigers pulled even eight minutes into the period, but Brown struck again shortly thereafter for his second goal of the game, this time assisted by junior Denis Desjardins and senior Ram Sidhu as Geneseo left the second stanza with a 3-2 lead.

Buffalo State was not to be counted out, though, as they evened the back-and-forth contest once again on a goal at the 8:13 mark of the third period. The game would go to overtime, where Tigers' junior Jason Hill beat Geneseo senior goalie Derek Jokic for the game-winner with just over a minute left to play.

Head coach Chris Schultz cited a lack of attention to detail as the main reason for the late collapse, calling the blown lead "a tough pill to swallow."

The loss marked the first in SUNYAC play for the Ice Knights, but they were able to put it behind them the following evening as they rebounded to defeat visiting Fredonia 4-3. Geneseo took a page from Buffalo State's playbook the night before, scoring just 47 seconds into the game as senior Trent Cassan tallied with an assist from Cyr. Junior Kevin Galan kept the momentum going later in the period, as he scored at 8:11 from Charbonneau and junior Casey Smith.

Fredonia got one of the goals back with less than five minutes remaining in the first period, though, and then tied the game 6:24 into the second. But the Geneseo squad would not allow a repeat of the previous night's comeback, scoring twice more before the end of the period on tallies from Cassan and Brown to build a two-goal cushion.

That was all that Jokic would need, as the netminder in the third period recorded eight of his 42 saves - including two shorthanded stops in the final seconds - to secure the win and move the Ice Knights to 3-3 overall and 3-1 in SUNYAC play.

"[Jokic] is an elite goaltender," said Schultz of his keeper's performance. "With both teams putting over 40 shots on goal, both sides needed great goaltending, and we won that battle."

The team will continue its home stand this weekend with tilts against conference foes Oswego and Cortland. Schultz stressed that both games will be of equal importance, but acknowledged that Oswego presents a unique challenge as defending national champions. "Oswego is a powerhouse," he said. "And we'll have a plan to beat them. It's a matter of executing our keys to winning the game."

Both the Oswego and Cortland games will be at 7 p.m. at the Wilson Ice Arena.