Injury-plagued Ice Knights continue to struggle

The injury-plagued Geneseo Ice Knights lost two games on their trip to the North Country, falling to SUNY Potsdam 7-3 on Nov. 18, and losing to SUNY Plattsburgh 2-0 on Nov. 19.

"We're decimated with injury. It's to the point where we had two defensemen playing forward," said head coach Chris Schultz. "After a while it starts to really wear on players. They know we're not playing with a strong lineup."

Potsdam took an early 2-0 lead against Geneseo less than four minutes into the first period. The Ice Knights then committed four penalties later in the first, but were able to kill each off.

Juniors Brandon Angotti and Blake O'Connor each scored their first goal of the season in the second period to tie the game at two. Just 16 seconds after Geneseo tied the game, Potsdam scored to take a 3-2 lead.

Less than two minutes after that, sophomore Rich Manley received a five-minute hitting from behind game misconduct penalty. On the ensuing five-minute power play, the Bears scored three times to put the game away.

Senior Cory Gershon was then pulled from goal after allowing six goals and making 19 saves. Junior Adrian Rubeniuk came in and allowed a goal on the only shot he faced before being pulled for freshman Bryan Haude. Haude finished the game and made five saves without allowing a goal.

"We've never really had a goalie issue before," Schultz said. "I'm glad it's happening now and not later."

Junior Kaz Iwamoto scored later in the second period to make the score 7-3.

The next night in Plattsburgh, the Ice Knights were shutout by the Cardinals. Plattsburgh scored twice quickly during the second period for the only goals of the game. Senior Stefan Decosse was scratched a half hour before the start of the game, requiring the Ice Knights to start freshmen defensemen Jesper Fahlen and Jack Caradonna at forward, who created several goal scoring chances.

"They're great skaters," Schultz said. "One of the things that defensemen that are good skaters want to do is move the puck up the ice and skate the puck and you saw both [Fahlen] and [Caradonna] do that. They did a good job filling in for some injured guys."

Rubeniuk made 34 saves in net, taking the loss.

"I thought [Rubeniuk] was outstanding tonight," Schultz said. "He stood up to the test. He knew there was a lot riding on his performance."

Geneseo hosts Morrisville State College on Dec. 2 before heading on the road to Hobart College on Dec. 3 for a nonconference matchup. The extra week off should help the team get healthy.

"We're going to get a bunch of guys back and I'm really excited for it," Schultz said. "We're just really looking forward to getting our best lineup out on the ice."