Hockey splits against nationally ranked teams

After first-year Stephen Collins’ overtime goal against Hobart College on Nov. 15 pushed Geneseo to No. 15 in the nation, Ice Knights head coach Chris Schultz said, “That was the biggest highlight-reel goal I’ve seen here in seven years.” But after the 5-1 loss to Adrian College on Tuesday Nov. 19, Schultz said the game “wasn’t disappointing; it was embarrassing.”

That pretty much summed up the difference between the two Ice Knights performances.

In the 4-3 overtime win at Hobart, Geneseo battled throughout the game, surrendering the lead twice against a physical Hobart team and managing to force overtime. Junior Tyler Brickler continued to have the hot hand offensively, scoring a shorthanded goal early in the first. Geneseo also saw scoring from junior Garry Childerhose and senior Zachary Vit.

The stories of this game, however, included goalie junior Bryan Haude, who made 33 saves and fought off a flurry of Hobart opportunities at the end of regulation, and Collins.

With 15 seconds left in overtime, Collins picked up the puck at center ice and took off into the Hobart zone. In a one-on-three rush, Collins attacked the zone, made a move around shutdown defenseman junior Ian Coleman and from his knees lifted the puck over the glove of Hobart goalkeeper sophomore Lino Chimienti.

“I got the puck and I knew what I wanted to do with it,” Collins said. “It went in.”

Four days later, in a 5-1 loss to Adrian, the Ice Knights looked like anything but a team that knew what to do with the puck.

“There was just no leadership out there,” Schultz said.

Geneseo struggled on defense and the neutral zone, unable to connect stick-to-stick passes in the uncontested areas of the ice. Poor decision-making led to countless odd-man rushes, with Haude standing tall as the only reason the game wasn’t perhaps 10-1.

The play that symbolized the game as a whole came with two and a half minutes remaining in the first, when a Geneseo turnover at the offensive blue line sprung the Bulldogs on a two-man breakaway against Haude. Haude sprawled from post to post to rob Adrian forward sophomore Justin Basso, the puck sliding to the corner afterwards. Basso had time to go retrieve the loose puck from the corner and throw it back to the front of the net, where junior Josh Ranalli still had time to slam it in before any Geneseo defensemen arrived.

The Ice Knights tacked on junior Justin Scharfe’s first goal of the season late in the third period, the only goal for Geneseo.

As if this night wasn’t bad enough, Childerhose suffered a lower body injury and won’t be back until after Christmas. He has scored three goals for Geneseo in six games.

There was a moment of levity in a night of frustration when the Zamboni broke down while leaving the ice between the second and third period, and five Adrian players managed to push it off the ice. It was a rather fitting event for a team that outworked the Ice Knights all night.

The Ice Knights schedule doesn’t get any easier. No. 8 SUNY Oswego Lakers visit Geneseo on Nov. 22 and the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons are in town the following night.