Ice Knights coach wins 100th game

Geneseo Ice Knights head coach Chris Schultz ‘97 began his career with the Ice Knights as a student-athlete, serving as captain in the ‘95-‘96 and ‘96-‘97 seasons. His 100th win is a testament to his hard work, dedication and coaching abilities. Schultz’s allegiance to his alma mater has been strong, as he has served as both assistant coach and coach for the past seven years.

Born and raised in Rochester, Schultz attended the Aquinas Institute – where he would later coach – and played with the Rochester Monarchs Junior hockey team. He remains eighth all-time in scoring at Aquinas and set a team record with seven shorthanded goals in one season for the Monarchs.

Schultz’s career as head coach began on Oct. 20, 2006 when his Ice Knights defeated the Morrisville State College Mustangs 5-3 in his first game at Ira S. Wilson Arena. Interestingly enough, current assistant coach Mitch Stephens ‘07 scored two goals for Schultz that night.

Since then, Schultz has transformed the program and “turned Geneseo into a place where people want to play,” assistant captain and forward senior Jonathan Sucese said. “I think it’s pretty obvious by the amount of talent we’ve brought in the past few years and our early success this year.”

Through seven seasons, Schultz has had just one losing season. With Schultz possessing a great hockey mind, his teams are always fundamentally sound, playing strong five-on-five hockey. He preaches physicality and shot blocking in the locker room, a style he undoubtedly utilizes as a penalty-killing guru.

Entering the season at 97-78-7, Schultz hoped he would rack up his 100th win against rival SUNY Plattsburgh, who the Ice Knights lost to in the SUNYAC semifinals last year. After a rough loss to the Cardinals, Schultz adjusted his sights on SUNY Potsdam, still in search of that triple-digit victory.

In a typical Geneseo road game, Schultz’s army came out and played a physical, gritty 60 minutes in front of goalkeeper junior Bryan Haude, who was rock solid, stopping 32 of 33 shots. Thanks to two goals by junior Tyler Brickler and first-year Ryan Stanimir, the Ice Knights gave Schultz his 100th career win.

“I didn’t even realize it after the game until a few of the players asked me,” Schultz said. “I had to go online to see if it was accurate.”

Captain senior Carson Schell took the puck off the ice, saying, “We have to get something for this guy. He deserves it.”

The team’s five-hour ride was full of smiles as players looked forward to getting home around 2 a.m. Team trainer Paul Simmons made a makeshift plaque from a paper plate to give to Schultz, who was studiously watching footage from the game.

Schultz’s 100th win was probably on his mind for the 10 minutes the team spoke about it on the bus. After that, Schultz set his sights on the 101st.