The Geneseo Ice Knights opened their season last weekend at home with games on Friday and Saturday against Neumann University, earning three points on the season with a win and tie.
The season began with a 3-2 victory Friday night. Neumann tallied the game's first goal at 3 minutes, 36 seconds in the first but Geneseo tied it up two minutes later when senior Andrew Rygiel successfully fired a shot on net.
Geneseo dominated the rest of the first and second periods, outshooting Neumann 31-13 through the two periods of play. Geneseo took the lead for good early in the second when sophomore Ryan Bulach put home a rebound off a shot from junior Jake Yard. The Ice Knights then took a two-goal lead when junior David Arduin scored on the power play.
"The No. 1 reason for our success in the second period was our forecheck," head coach Chris Schultz said. "We have to have a passionate energy and they really showed it."
In the third period, the Ice Knights struggled; they were outshot 16-6 by Neumann. Neumann pulled within one after a power play goal at five minutes to the buzzer, but Geneseo held on thanks to a number of big saves from junior Cory Gershon, who racketed a game total of 27 saves.
"He's a big game goaltender," Schultz said of Gershon. "Gersh showed again he can come up with the big save at the right time. He made some remarkable saves and he really earned the victory."
Geneseo played Neumann again Saturday afternoon, skating to a 3-3 tie. The Ice Knights scored first when Bulach notched his second goal of the season on the power play. He was able to put back the rebound off a shot from the point sent by sophomore Blake O'Connor.
"We're the type of team that has to get the greasy goals," Schultz said. He added he was pleased that the Knights scored six goals against junior goalie Ross MacKinnon, who led Neumann to a national title in 2009.
"It's something we try to do," senior Mike Forgione said. "Good teams don't give up high quality shots so we have to get traffic in front. We generated a lot of offense that way."
Neumann successfully executed its power play goal later in the first and added another goal in the second to take a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. With just over five minutes left, Ice Knights freshman Zachary Vit stole the puck in the offensive zone and then scored to tie the game at two.
After Neumann scored just 30 seconds later to regain the lead, the Ice Knights tied it up when junior Danny Scagnelli put home a rebound with just under two minutes left. Neither team scored in the remaining minutes of the game, requiring a five minute overtime period. The game remained tied and ended 3-3. Sophomore Adrian Rubeniuk made a total of 40 saves for the Ice Knights.
"We have a great, great problem," Schultz said. "Our problem before Thursday was whether we should play Gershon or Rubeniuk. When you have to make a decision like that as a coach you're in a good position."
Forgione also expressed the team's confidence in both goalies, saying "that's something we are going to need heading into this weekend."
The Ice Knights face SUNY Plattsburgh Friday and SUNY Potsdam Saturday. Plattsburgh is ranked No. 4 in the country and made the Frozen Four last year.