Ice Knights take down Cortland, fall to Oswego

It was a successful weekend for the Ice Knights as they split two SUNYAC games, beating Cortland 3-2 and falling to Oswego 5-0.

The wins launched Geneseo into the driver's seat of the four-team dogfight for the final three playoff spots.

At the week's end, Geneseo had jumped from sixth, the last spot, to fourth place, with a one-point cushion over Potsdam, Cortland and Buffalo State.

The final playoff order could be determined in Friday's games - Geneseo takes on Buffalo State as Potsdam plays Oswego before each team finishes its regular season schedule on Saturday.

"We have to be great. We can control our own destiny at this point, so we can't afford any more slip-ups," said senior co-captian Casey Balog of the week ahead. "Our season is now on the line, and everyone needs to understand that."

The Ice Knights did their best to cling to the playoffs on Friday when they took on Cortland at home.

Though the game started out slow with a scoreless first period, Geneseo awoke with a bang in the second.

Just 1:22 into the frame, senior Brandon French set up junior Sebastian Panetta shorthanded for the opening goal and Panetta's 20th point of the season.

The goal was followed a minute later with a Balog tally, putting the Ice Knights up 2-0.

When Cortland cut the Ice Knights' lead in half, Geneseo responded quickly as sophomore Daniel Sullivan potted his third goal of the season with assists from freshman Stefan Decosse and senior Sean Hayden, for what turned out to be the game winner.

Though Cortland managed to pull within one again late in the second on the power play, superstar in the making freshman goaltender Cory Gershon managed to hang on for the win.

The next night, Geneseo was set to take on ninth-ranked Oswego in their final home game of the regular season.

Geneseo came out flying, outplaying Oswego for much of the first period, but could not beat the goalie at the other end.

"We came out strong but couldn't find the back of the net," said Balog. "They took the momentum from us by scoring at the end of the first period and we had a tough time getting back into our rhythm."

After taking the lead late in the first, Oswego continued to pile it on in the second and third, scoring two goals in each period, and keeping Geneseo off the board, taking the game 5-0.

Geneseo is on the road for both games this weekend, playing at Buffalo State on Friday before heading to Fredonia for their final regular season game. If they can hold onto fourth place, the Ice Knights will have a first-round playoff matchup at home on Feb. 24.