This past weekend the Ice Knights faced off against two difficult SUNYAC division opponents: nationally-ranked No. 1 Plattsburgh on Friday and Potsdam on Saturday.
Although they lost to Plattsburgh by a final score of 4-2, Geneseo recorded its first win of the season against Potsdam, 3-2, the following day.
Friday's game in Plattsburgh was a grueling battle against the most difficult opponent around. Senior Phil Rose scored Geneseo's first goal before the third minute of play, assisted by freshman Ryan Bulach. Later, Plattsburgh fought back to gain a 2-1 lead.
The Ice Knights scored again, however, with a goal from sophomore Danny Scagnelli, assisted by sophomore David Arduin. The game remained tied until the final minutes of the third period when Plattsburgh scored two quick goals to ensure a victory.
One major factor that contributed to the loss was the difference in shots on goal: Geneseo had 23 shots to Plattsburgh's 32. Geneseo was also charged with six penalties for a total of 18 minutes, whereas Plattsburgh only had three for six minutes.
"We played a very good game defensively," said head coach Chris Schultz, in an e-mail. "We did a lot of good things at both ends of the ice but ended up losing the game with three minutes left in regulation on a very questionable call. We've played the nation's No. 1 team in Plattsburgh and No. 2 team in Neumann and were tied after two periods in all three games. Finishing the 60 minutes is now our focus."
On Saturday, Geneseo defeated Potsdam, 3-2, despite being outshot again, this time 32-24. The Ice Knights showed their ability to capitalize and convert shots into goals. Senior Dan Brown recorded the first goal for Geneseo, assisted by junior Michael Forgione and sophomore Clint Olson.
After Potsdam tied the game, the Ice Knights came back to score their second goal, once again on a power play. Sophomore Jake Yard was responsible for the goal assisted by Arduin and fellow sophomore Stefan Decosse. In the final 1 minute, 5 seconds of the third period, freshman Kaz Iwamoto put the Knights up 3-1, with Brown and Forgione assisting the goal. With only 50 seconds left, Potsdam scored their second goal - but it was not enough to come back.
"We played very well on Saturday night," Schultz said of the team's performance in Potsdam. "We had a younger lineup than normal playing and everyone stepped up … our focus was on 60 minutes and we got that out of the guys."
Schultz also said he feels his team is ready for upcoming challenges: "We will prepare by focusing in on the details that will enable us to be successful. Team defense, special teams, faceoffs and systems are a priority. Hobart is ranked fifth in the nation right now so we will need to be at the top of our game. Starting the season playing the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 [teams] is great for us. It helps us to learn more about our weaknesses and build on our strengths."
This Friday and Saturday the Ice Knights will need the campus' support for their first two home games against No. 5 Hobart College and SUNY Morrisville. The Ice Knights take on Hobart on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Morrisville game, which is Saturday at 7 p.m., will also double as a fundraiser for cancer research. The team has pledged that for every goal they score, each member of the team will donate $3. In return, the team asks that every fan donate $1 for each goal scored.