The Geneseo Ice Knights traveled to Oswego and Cortland over the weekend, but returned with nothing to show for it. The Knights, however, can be proud of their efforts against the defending SUNYAC champions Oswego Lakers.
Geneseo (6-15-0, 5-8-0) did not get off to a quick start on Friday night against the Lakers, trailing the 14th-ranked team in the nation 4-0 entering the final period.
Sophomore Dave Schroeder opened the floodgates for Geneseo early in the period with his first goal of the season. Following Schroeder's lead, junior Brandon French scored a power-play goal and freshman Daniel Sullivan netted a goal which cut the Oswego lead to 4-3 with nearly 11 minutes remaining in the contest.
"We really didn't change anything," said head coach Chris Schultz about his team's third-period effort. "We stuck to the game plan and caught a few breaks for once. We played well; it's just that the five-minute penalty hurt us twice on the scoreboard."After an Oswego tally left the Ice Knights trailing by two goals, senior Trent Cassan scored on the power play to close the gap with three minutes to play. However, Geneseo failed to get any closer and lost by the final score of 5-4. Senior goalie Derek Jokic recorded 27 tough saves in a hard-fought loss.
"We were able to get the big saves out of Derek," said Schultz. "When he makes a big save, we can turn that into momentum which helps to create more scoring opportunities for us."
On Saturday, the Ice Knights visited the Cortland Red Dragons with hopes of avenging a home overtime loss earlier in the season. Unlike the previous night, Geneseo took a 4-3 lead into the third period by scoring three goals in the second period. Cassan scored two power-play goals within 26 seconds of each other to claim the lead. Unfortunately for the Ice Knights, the third period belonged to the Red Dragons, as they scored three unanswered goals to win the game 6-4.
Schultz pointed out his team's inability to play well with the lead as one of its problems this season.
"We carried a two-goal lead near the end of the second period, but a few mistakes cost us the game ultimately," he said.
Against Cortland the lack of focus that plagued the team for much of the season struck again.
"I'm not sure if it's inexperience or being afraid to make mistakes, but we are aware of the issue and are working to get better," he added.
Geneseo is currently sitting in the seventh spot in the league with a 5-8 SUNYAC record. Only the top six teams make the postseason, so it is imperative that the Knights win two out of their last three conference games. They will get a shot to do just that with two home games this weekend, against sixth-seeded Potsdam (7-11-4, 4-6-3) and top SUNYAC seed Plattsburgh (19-3-0, 12-1-0).