After losing three out of their last four games at home, the Geneseo Ice Knights looked to right the ship as they traveled to rival Brockport on Friday, Nov. 16 to face a Golden Eagles team that had picked up points in two of the last three games, despite a dismal start to their season.
Brockport outshot Geneseo 11-3 in the opening frame, but senior goalie Derek Jokic stopped every one.
"He was simply outstanding," said Coach Chris Schultz of his keeper. "He kept us in a game which we could have been easily down 2-0 at the first intermission."
Stopping 29 of 30 shots in the game, Jokic was named SUNYAC Goaltender of the Week in helping his team to a 3-1 victory over Brockport.
In the second period, Geneseo came out with an added fire and capitalized on a power play when junior Kevin Galan scored 2:10 into the period on a pass from senior Trent Cassan. "Our play in the first period was pathetic, but our team understood what changes needed to be made and made the right adjustments," said Schultz.
Just over seven minutes later, Geneseo capitalized on another power play on a goal from freshman Daniel Sullivan with assists from fellow freshmen Jonathan Dulude and Allan Charbonneau. After going just 1-22 over the past three games on the power play, the Ice Knights were very successful, going 2-3 on the night.
"It was a change in personnel, and a change in formation," noted Schultz. "We put all of our eggs in one basket on the first power-play line because we were spread too thin production-wise, and now we have one strong power-play unit. Losing Mitch Stephens and Mike MacDonald to graduation has hurt our depth on the power play but we're on the right path now."
The power-play line now consists of Cassan, Mathieu Cyr, and Galan. The difference was in the zone formation as the Ice Knights moved from a three-man umbrella to a four-man umbrella formation. This shift allowed for more traffic in front of the Brockport goal, while an increased focus on crashing the net and finding better seams to make passes also proved beneficial.
Brockport's Steve Seedhouse tapped in a loose puck in the crease for the Golden Eagles' lone goal on Jokic at 7:17 into the third period, and Galan added an insurance goal with 1:32 remaining in the game to secure the victory for the Ice Knights.
This weekend, Geneseo will be back on the road as they try to build on this win. But standing in their way are the Potsdam Bears (4-4-3, 3-2-2) on Friday, and the division-leading Plattsburgh Cardinals (9-1-0, 7-0-0) on Saturday.
In preparation for these games, the team will spend their practice time focusing on the continued improvement of their special teams and upping the pressure on a smarter forecheck. The team knows results will not come overnight, but a hard work ethic and continuing a strong effort should leave them fully prepared for the upcoming SUNYAC matchups.