The Geneseo men's ice hockey team defeated the SUNY Morrisville Mustangs 7-4 on Saturday, improving their record to 5-6-0 in SUNYAC play and 9-10-1 overall in the team's first game since hearing the news regarding their one-year postseason ban.
Morrisville took an early first period lead when they scored with a two-man advantage after freshman defenseman Blake O'Connor was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for hitting from behind.
The Ice Knights were then able to kill off the last four and a half minutes of the penalty which gave them the momentum for the rest of the period as seniors Sebastian Panetta and Dan Brown each scored power-play goals to put Geneseo ahead, 2-1.
After Morrisville tied the game at two, junior Andrew Rygiel showed off his speed and made a cross-ice pass to set up senior Trevor Foster for his first career goal to give Geneseo a 3-2 lead to end the first period.The second period featured back and forth hockey with both teams getting their chances at odd-man rushes.
Having a defenseman join the rush has been something Geneseo has been working on recently, head coach Chris Schultz said."We are telling at least the one defenseman to take off to make it a four-on-two, four-on-three rush. You have to add that second dimension to the rush, good teams do that."
After the Mustangs tied the game at three, Geneseo had a three-on-two rush and sophomore David Arduin shot the puck past the Morrisville goalie to give the Ice Knights a 4-3 lead near the end of the second period.The Mustangs tied it up again early in the third period but Geneseo took the lead for good when sophomore Jonathan Redlick scored on a pass from freshman Kaz Iwamoto.
Redlick then returned the favor a few minutes later when he found Iwamoto for the goal to put Geneseo up 6-4 with 12 minutes, 46 seconds left in the game.Just 10 seconds later, Rygiel made another individual effort and set up Foster for his second goal of the game.
"He's looking to make plays, always setting guys up," said sophomore goalie Cody Gershon, who made 26 saves in picking up the win for Geneseo.
With a two-man advantage late in the game, Geneseo looked to give Foster the hat trick when Brown passed up a shot at an open net to give Foster a chance to score.
"He's a guy that crashes the net, finishes checks and does all the little things," Schultz added. "When a guy like that gets rewarded for his hard work it makes the whole team happy. The guys on the bench were begging me to get him out there on the power play at the end."
One of the keys to Geneseo's victory was responding after each of Morrisville's goals.
"The shift after a goal, the key is getting momentum," Gershon said. He added it was nice to have the goal support as he picked up his first SUNYAC win of the season.Geneseo is on the road this weekend as the team heads to SUNY Fredonia and Buffalo State for two tough conference games.