The Ice Knights skated to a 3-0 victory on Saturday Nov. 28 over 15th-ranked Williams College to secure their fifth win and first shutout of the season. This improves the Ice Knights’ record to 5-1-2 on the season, all while handing Williams its first loss and dropping them to 3-1.
The game started slow as both the Ice Knights and Williams College had difficulty rallying their offenses for the first two periods. The tally of the shots on goal after two periods had Geneseo ahead, but only by a margin of 14 -13. Both teams had several chances to net the first puck, but strong defense kept the offenses at bay.
Geneseo, however, would surge ahead once again in the third period, putting up three unanswered goals. Senior forward David Ripple would be the one to break the long stalemate just 1:13 into the third period to accumulate his third goal of the year on a hard shot from the blue line.
Junior forward Stephen Collins would follow at the halfway point of the period with a power play goal to put the Ice Knights ahead 2-0. Junior forward RJ Burns drove the final nail into the coffin with an empty netted goal with just 27 seconds left on the clock to secure the Ice Knight’s first shut-out.
First-year goalkeeper Devin McDonald remains undefeated this season in net, improving to 5-0-1 while earning his first career shutout as an Ice Knight. Stopping all 23 shots sent his way, McDonald improved to a .939 save percentage and a 1.61 goals allowed average, putting him at 14th in the nation for the lowest GAA.
Although this game was not a conference game for the Ice Knights, it held an equal amount of importance—Geneseo came into the weekend looking to obtain a spot in the national rankings. The shutout win over Williams certainly spoke volumes—Geneseo took Williams’ spot at 12th in the nation, marking the first time Geneseo has held a ranking since the beginning of last season.
The week ahead may give pause to the Ice Knights’ advance, however, as they play the current first and second seeds in the SUNYAC. Friday Dec. 4 sees Geneseo hosting the SUNY Potsdam Bears, currently first in the SUNYAC. Geneseo went 0-2 against the Bears last season, but with the absence of star goaltender Jon Hall for the Bears, the Ice Knights may find an edge with the resurgence of a reliable offense and goaltending.
The following night, Saturday Dec. 5, the Ice Knights host the current number two seed: SUNY Plattsburgh. While Geneseo split their series last year going 1-1 against the Cardinals, Plattsburgh has shown no signs of weakness this year with their 8-0-0 overall record and scoring over five goals per game, good enough for second in the nation.
This weekend at the Ira S. Wilson Arena also marks the fifth annual Teddy Bear Toss. Attendees to the Friday Dec. 4 game against Potsdam are encouraged to bring stuffed animals to donate to charity by tossing them onto the ice after the Ice Knights’ first goal of the night. The puck drops for both contests this weekend at 7 p.m.