The Ice Knights started off the season well, overpowering an under-matched SUNY Morrisville squad two nights in a row. On Friday Nov. 7 and Saturday Nov. 8, however, Geneseo fell to SUNY Potsdam 2-1 and SUNY Plattsburgh 7-4. The Ice Knights fell in a close battle against Potsdam with nearly 5,000 fans in attendance for their home opener.
“I think we had a false sense of play,” head coach Chris Schultz said in an email interview. “Too many individuals were trying to do things they aren’t capable of doing.” Geneseo was outshot 35-30 and clearly could not keep up with the Potsdam’s level of play. Junior goalkeeper Nick Horrigan––who played on his toes with a notable sense of urgency the entire game––stopped a total of 33 shots. Despite poor and lazy defense, Horrigan played an excellent game.
“Nick is playing with confidence and our team believes in his abilities,” Schultz said. “He will give us a chance to win every night if we learn how to play defense correctly”
After their tough home opener, the Ice Knights came out looking to bounce back against Plattsburgh. Just like the slick, alternate white jerseys they came out in, the Ice Knights’ play out of the gate was clean and crisp. After getting a 3-0 lead on the seventh ranked team in the country, the Ice Knights failed to put the Cardinals away.
The Ice Knights’ inability to keep the puck out of their own zone led to six unanswered goals. Plattsburgh’s quick forwards took advantage of another lackluster defensive performance by the Ice Knights. “We learned the lesson that we can’t play offense without being great defensively” Schultz said.
Despite a 2-2 start, there’s a lot of hockey to be played. Individually, the Ice Knights show potential in some of their offensive performances. Senior forward Tyler Brickler has netted three goals in four games and has applied offensive pressure—taking a team high of 16 shots this season. Sophomore forward Stephen Collins has also started out hot for the Ice Knights—scoring two goals in four games. “[Collins] is a special player in that his skill set creates opportunities,” Schultz said.
The Ice Knights need to simply play better as a team. Their pride will be tested this week, as they will pay a visit to SUNY Brockport on Friday Nov. 14 to take on the 1-3 Golden Eagles. This is a must-win game––three losses to SUNYAC opponents can put them in a deep hole to the start the season. Schultz is calling on his captains to bring the team together early on.
“We won’t be successful until our leaders realize that the season is dependent on them being team players on and off the ice and leading by example,” Schultz said. “There is nothing easy about leadership. You have to sacrifice yourself in many ways to be a leader. When you have success, all of the sudden you think you know everything. True leaders desire to learn more even after success comes.”
The Ice Knights’ play at Brockport on Friday Nov. 14. Their next home game will be Saturday Nov. 15 when they host Franklin Pierce University.
Correction: In the Nov. 13 issue of The Lamron in “Ice Knights disappoint in home openers,” we said that there were “over 5,000 fans in attendance for their home opener.” It should have said that nearly 5,000 total fans attended the Ice Knights’ first two games.