The No. 9 Geneseo Ice Knights skated to a 6-6 tie and an 8-5 win against the SUNY Canton Kangaroos, while on a double-header road trip in Canton on Friday Nov. 11 and Saturday Nov. 12. Maintaining an astounding 6.20 goals per game on the season, the Ice Knights find themselves atop the nation in team offense and do not show any signs of slowing down.
Senior forward Trevor Hills and first-year forward David Szmyd tallied two goals each during the opening contest against the Kangaroos, while junior defenseman Pat Condon found himself three assists and sophomore goaltender Devin McDonald stopped 22 of 28 pucks sent his way.
The Ice Knights led for most of the contest on Friday Nov. 11, but had trouble closing out, as Canton scored four unanswered goals in the third to force overtime. The saving grace of the night was the Ice Knights’ power play—which is one of their major strengths this year—where they went three for seven.
Geneseo found itself in a similar play style on Saturday Nov. 12; it was an intense and physical game, as both teams were high in penalty minutes. The Ice Knights blew past the Kangaroos in the second period, however, scoring three goals in the first seven minutes for a total of five for the period.
Leading the charge were senior forward Stephen Collins with a goal and four assists and sophomore forward Anthony Marra with two goals and two assists. The Ice Knights outshot the Kangaroos 38 to 24, and scored on four of 14 power play opportunities.
Early on in the season, the Ice Knights established themselves to be one of the most lethal power play squads in the nation, scoring on 13 of 38 opportunities for a 34.2 percent conversion. To give a comparison, last year in the Division III the top team—the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire—had a 29.7 percent conversion, with the league average holding at around 18 percent.
The Ice Knights look to continue this strong man-advantage play to help hold their No. 1 in the nation status for overall team offense, where they average almost an entire goal per game over the No. 2 offense in the nation, the Oswego Lakers.
One troubling sign for the Ice Knights, however, has been their lack of ability to close out multiple goal leads in the last few games. Leading the Lakers by two goals in their loss on Nov. 5 and the Kangaroo’s by three in their tie on Nov. 11 while transitioning into the third period for both games, the team has given up crucial points in the win column. As it stands, the Ice Knights are a team of pure offense, winning games by simply out-scoring opposing teams in high point games.
“I think any one of us can put the puck in the net right now, whether you’re on offense or defense,” first-year forward Conlan Keenan said. “We have a lot of guys who are really strong offensively and can move the puck the way they want to see it go.”
Keenan currently finds himself as center on the Ice Knights’ second line paired with first-year forward Andrew Romano and sophomore forward Arthur Gordon. The line has totaled nine of the Ice Knights’ 31 goals this season and is a strong addition to the team’s overall depth.
“So far we’ve been impressed with the performance of the underclassmen,” assistant coach Kris Heeres said. “It will take everyone’s full effort to play a full 60 minutes that we’ve been falling just short of these past few games. It’s something we need to work on as a team and hope to improve by the time we get into our large set of conference games at the beginning of December.”
The Ice Knights return home on Saturday Nov. 19 for the second time this season, and will be hosting the Brockport Golden Eagles with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. at the Ira.