Ice Knights shock USA Hockey

The Ice Knights had a rollercoaster weekend, losing at Brockport on Friday night before beating the U.S. Under-18 Development Team in an exhibition back at home on Saturday, 3-2.

Saturday's game was a season highlight to go down in Geneseo sports history, as the underdog Ice Knights valiantly took on the team that had blown out Division I RIT by a score of 6-3 the day before.

Coach Chris Schultz discussed the advantages of playing the national team: "[We] get a great memory if nothing else. These were the finest '91 births in the country. Nearly all of them have Division I scholarships to the best hockey universities next year. Most of them will be drafted in next year's NHL draft. It was a great opportunity to compete against future stars."

As expected, the U-18 team came out flying and jumped to a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Despite the absence of all captains and high-scorer junior Jeff MacPhee from the lineup, Geneseo kept coming, pounding the youngsters into submission.

The Ice Knights got on the board a few minutes later on the power play, when freshman Jake Yard fired a cannon from the point to make the score 2-1.

Shortly after, Geneseo tied the game at two with an unbelievable move by junior Sebastian Panetta, who drove to the net and swept the puck above the goalie with one hand, before crashing into the goaltender and taking out the net.

Geneseo took the lead on a lucky break of their own in the third period, when a shorthanded dump bounced in front - away from the goalie trying to play it behind the net - and onto the stick of freshman Clint Olson, who deposited the game-winner into the open net.

This unexpected win would have been exciting enough for the Ice Knights had it not occurred after a devastating loss the night before.

Friday's matchup against the Brockport Golden Eagles resulted in 5-2 loss for Geneseo, sending the Ice Knights to fourth place - one spot behind Brockport - in the SUNYAC standings.

Throughout the Brockport game, the Eagles took advantage of Geneseo's numerous visits to the penalty box.

Schultz said the penalties, "were a result of bad positioning, over-aggression, and in some instances selfishness and frustration. The reason the captains and Jeff MacPhee were not in the lineup against the U.S. squad was accountability. When 11 different players take penalties, someone has to be accountable."

Though the power plays definitely helped, Brockport also benefitted from a few lucky goals.

The first fluke goal occurred late in the first period, when a shot from the point hit a leg in front and caromed in to give Brockport the 1-0 lead.

Brockport then made it 2-0 late in the second with a one-man advantage.

Geneseo finally entered the scoring in the closing minutes of the second period when senior Kevin Galan swept the puck past the Brockport goaltender, making the score 2-1.

Unfortunately, in the third period Brockport caught their second big break when Mike Gershon put a goal past his brother, freshman Geneseo goalie Cory Gershon, to put Brockport up by two.

Just minutes later, Geneseo was in penalty trouble again, this time giving Brockport a five-on-three advantage. The Eagles converted, putting the game out of reach.

Though Olson did manage to score a short-handed goal shortly after it was too late, as Brockport added a last minute goal to cap the win 5-2.

The Ice Knights play Friday at Potsdam before heading to number-one ranked Plattsburgh on Saturday.