The Geneseo Ice Knights enter the 2011-2012 season as the No. 12-ranked team in the initial USCHO.com poll. Last season they finished second in the SUNYAC before losing to eventual conference champion SUNY Plattsburgh in the semifinals. They completed the season with a 16-8-2 record.
One of the biggest strengths of Geneseo is the returning goaltending tandem of senior Cory Gershon and junior Adrian Rubeniuk. Last season Gershon set a school record with a .921 save percentage and Rubeniuk earned All-SUNYAC honors.
"Both Gershon and Rubeniuk have settled into a position where they are comfortable. They both like the two man rotation," said head coach Chris Schultz. "As a coach you need goaltending to win games and we have that right now."
The Ice Knights are returning their top nine scorers from last season, including each forward on their top two lines. Sophomore Zach Vit led the team in scoring as a freshman last year with 13 goals, 22 assists, and 35 points.
Their line of seniors Stefan Decosse and David Arduin, along with junior Ryan Bulach, all natives of British Columbia, look to add onto the great end of the season they had last year.
"They showed up when it counted," said Schultz. "I thought they were the best line against Plattsburgh in the playoff game."
"We have quite high expectations for ourselves. This is our third year playing together," added Decosse. "We hope to get more pucks to the net, get a few more shots and hopefully bury a few more of our chances."
Geneseo returns most players from a strong unit of defensemen last season. Seniors Jake Yard and Danny Scagnelli, and junior Colin de Jersey each made strong contributions on offense as well as on defense last season. Scagnelli was fourth on the team with 21 points, Yard had five power play goals and 17 total points, while de Jersey finished the year with 12 points.
"We have a lot of speed back there and a lot of guys that want to jump into the play," said senior defenseman and team captain Jimmy Powers.
"I'm looking forward to a very solid D-core," said Schultz. "Our back line is as strong as it's ever been."
The Ice Knights have high expectations for this season and hope to capture a SUNYAC title.
"As a senior class, we're all going to come together and try to push this team to the next level and win that SUNYAC championship," said Decosse.
"This is the strongest team we've had since my first year as coach," added Schultz. "The commitment that I've seen so far is outstanding. The team speed is outstanding."
Geneseo opens the season at home on Saturday Oct. 22 against No. 4 Adrian College (Michigan) at 4 p.m.