Ice Knights continue hot start, oust SUNYAC rivals

The Ice Knights continued the hot start to their season as they opened up SUNYAC play last weekend with victories over SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Potsdam.

Geneseo opened the weekend with a 7-3 win over Plattsburgh, the No. 4 team in the country. Geneseo got off to a quick lead when junior Danny Scagnelli scored less than a minute into the game. The Ice Knights took a 2-0 lead later in the period on a power play when junior Jake Yard took a shot from the point that got past Plattsburgh's goalie. After Plattsburgh got within one, junior Clint Olson gave Geneseo a 3-1 lead on an assist from senior Andrew Rygiel who made a great play to get the puck and center it to the scorer.

"Early on we got pucks through and I don't think [Plattsburgh's] goaltender looked too sharp in the first period," head coach Chris Schultz said. "So we tried to take advantage of that by just getting pucks to the net and good things happened."

The Ice Knights scored the next three goals of the game, two from freshman Rich Manley and a power play goal from sophomore Ryan Bulach. Plattsburgh scored twice in the middle of the third to bring the score to 6-3 but Rygiel added an empty net goal late in the third to clinch the 7-3 win. Junior Cory Gershon made 35 saves in picking up the win.

"They've got a very good team," Schultz said. "It was a beautiful win. Any time you beat Plattsburgh you steal two points."

The Ice Knights went on to beat Potsdam 4-1 Saturday night. Manley scored the first goal of the game and his third of the weekend on the power play in the first period. Sophomore Blake O'Connor scored less than two minutes later on a shot from the point in a four-on-four situation.

In the second, freshman Zachary Vit scored his first of the game on assists from Scagnelli and Manley. Potsdam then scored to bring the tally to 3-1 before Vit scored again on the power play early in the third period. Manley and Vit each had five points on the weekend.

"Vit has a great shot. Every time he shoots guys get up on the bench thinking it might go in," assistant coach Kris Heeres said. "It's a great start for both freshmen and we're excited about them."

Sophomore Adrian Rubeniuk made 31 saves in goal for the Ice Knights. Geneseo excelled on special teams, scoring four power play goals and killing eight of nine penalties on the weekend.

"Coach Schultz has made sure we put in our time in practice," senior captain Mike Forgione said. "But the other part is mental, being disciplined to stay out of the penalty box. It's been a drastic improvement from last year to this year."

The Ice Knights are now 3-0-1 overall. On Saturday the team goes on the road to take on Morrisville State College.