Ice Knights have tremendous win at first home game

The start of November has brought both highs and lows for the No. 9 ranked Geneseo Ice Knights, including an 11-2 blowout over SUNY Cortland on Friday Nov. 4 and a close 5-3 loss to No. 8 SUNY Oswego on Saturday Nov. 5. The game against Cortland was the Knights’ first performance at home, resulting in a nearly sold out crowd of 2400 people. The Knights left a huge impression on the home crowd, giving strong signs toward a promising season when they took down the Cortland Red Dragons by an impressive 11-2 margin.

First-year forward Conlan Keenan scored three tallies on the night, giving him not only the home ice hat trick, but also the first three goals of his collegiate career in an Ice Knight’s jersey. Geneseo’s star first line also contributed to the victory, tallying a combined eight points between senior forward Stephen Collins with two goals and two assists, senior forward Trevor Hills with two goals and one assist and sophomore forward Anthony Marra with one assist.

The Knights outshot the Red Dragons by a margin of 46-31, with Keenan, Collins and Hills each amounting eight shots. Sophomore goaltender Devin McDonald started in net for the Knights, stopping 20 of 21 sent his way before switching out with senior goaltender Matt Leon in the third period. Leon faced 10 and let only one goal slip past.

“We probably won’t see a game like this again all season,” assistant coach Kris Heeres said. “It’s something really special to play this well in front of the home crowd, but we look at this as a one-time thing in a completive conference such as the SUNYAC.”

The following day, the Knights traveled to Oswego to face off against the Lakers in a battle of two nationally ranked teams. Despite holding the lead for the majority of the contest, the Lakers came back in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals to put away the Ice Knights 5-3.

Collins, sophomore forward Arthur Gordon and first-year forward David Szmyd tallied a goal each in the game, with Szmyd’s being his first for the Ice Knights. McDonald had 24 stops of 28 sent his way and faced a large amount of the Oswego power play, where the Ice Knights were able to kill five of seven attempts.

On the other end of the stick, the Knights converted on their only power play opportunity of the night, propelling them to 33 percent on the season and placing them fifth overall in power play in Division III hockey.

“We didn’t play a full 60-minute game on the ice,” Heeres said. “We ran into some penalty trouble late in the game, and the same pace and speed we threw out in the first two periods wasn’t there in the third. We have a lot of stuff to go over and learn from this game, and you can bet we’ll be hitting the ice hard Monday at practice to improve.”

Geneseo hits the road once again on Friday Nov. 11 and Saturday Nov. 12 in a double header against the SUNY Canton Kangaroos, with the puck dropping 7 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday.