As the Geneseo ice hockey team opens its season this week, it must prepare for the changes of the 2012-2013 season.
In 2012, eight key players graduated including goalie Cory Gershon, who finished first on Geneseo’s all-time-record list in season save percentage. In the 2011-2012 season, Gershon often split time with senior Adrian Rubeniuk.
Head coach Chris Schultz said he will miss having two reliable goalies; he’s confident, however, in this year’s three goalies: Rubeniuk, sophomore Bryan Haude and first-year Nick Horrigan.
“Each goalie has some pretty significant attributes that [he] can offer up,” Schultz said. For now, though, Rubeniuk stands out amongst the goalies.
“I know that Rubeniuk has really waited his time,” Schultz said. “He’s been patient, and I think he wants [to take] the ball and run with it this year. So if everything goes according to plan, if [Rubeniuk] comes out and plays well, it’s his job to earn for the entire year.”
The Ice Knights welcome 11 first-year players this season, including sophomore transfer Tyler Brickler.
The new players bring “a fresh look” to the team, junior captain Carson Schell said.
“We brought them in because we thought that they would be able to make an impact right away,” Schultz said.
The team couldn’t hold an official practice until Oct. 15 due to NCAA regulations, so Schultz hasn’t seen some of the first-years play yet. The coaching staff will take a look at new players in the upcoming two-game series against Nazareth College.
“The quicker that they can figure out the college game the better off our team’s going to be,” Schultz said.
According to Schell, the first-years bring a lot of excitement for each game, which can help with the team’s new mindset.
Last year, the Ice Knights focused on qualifying for the SUNYAC tournament but posted a 13-12-1 record with injured players causing Geneseo to lose more than 100 man games. This year, Schultz said, the team is taking one game at time.
“We can’t look forward, because there’s really no use in looking forward that far,” Schultz said. “You [have to] take care of the present.”
Schell said, “Why get hung up on winning three weeks away when you have a game right in front of you?”
The Ice Knights are focused on their first game against Nazareth on Oct. 18 at Monroe Community College. The second game of the series will be held at home on Oct. 20.