The No. 7 Ice Knights went 1-1 last weekend after a 3-0 shutout over the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils on Friday Dec. 2 and a 4-1 loss to No. 10 Buffalo State Bengals on Saturday Dec. 3. The Knights boast a 7-2-1 record on the season as they approach the last weekend of play for the semester, which puts them in good contention on the national stage. Facing Fredonia at the last home game of the fall semester, senior forward Jack Ceglarski scored the first goal of the night with an assist from sophomore goaltender Devin McDonald, releasing a torrent of teddy bears onto the ice for the Knights’ sixth annual Teddy Bear Toss. First year forwards Conlan Keenan and Devin Brink also tallied a goal each, with McDonald boasting his first shutout of the season, saving 23. The Knights outshot the Blue Devils 51 to 23, and for the second time this season, the Knights did not score a power play goal, despite a national second rank in the category.
“That hasn’t been our game for sure; we’re used to a fair amount of power play goals,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “When you have officials that have a career in hockey, they tend to let a lot more go, so you’re not going to see too many power plays. They’ve seen a lot in their day, so they’re not going to call hard plays. We had a hit in front of our bench that was a little high and riled up the team, but I thought it was a well-called game when they did a good job of not letting it get out of hand at the end.”
The following night pitted Geneseo against Buffalo, who was the only team in the SUNYAC conference to defeat the Knights last season. Buffalo senior goaltender Mike DeLaVergne came up big once again and managed to stop all but one shot sent his way.
Keenan was the only one to beat the goaltender, scoring a power play goal with an assist from sophomore forward Arthur Gordon and first year forward David Szmyd. The Knights started slow, but improved as the game continued, eventually outshooting the Bengals 28-21, despite the loss.
“Despite the final tally, I thought we played a solid game,” assistant coach Kris Heeres said. “Buffalo has a lot of added depth this year and it certainly showed … I feel we let the first period get to us too much when we were down 2-0, but we didn’t let up on our 60-minute game. The road is also starting to get to us, so it’s nice to know that next semester we’ll be home for most of it in front of our fans.”
The games on Friday Dec. 9 and Saturday Dec. 10 will be the last set of games for the Knights this semester. They will be traveling to the northern reaches of New York State, where they face the Plattsburgh State Cardinals on Friday Dec. 9 and the SUNY Potsdam Bears on Saturday Dec. 10.
The Cardinals have had a slow start to their season, tallying a 5-3 record in comparison to last year’s 9-0 start. Likewise, the Bears also seem to be struggling to get off the ground with a 2-6-2 record, as they currently find themselves on a six-game losing streak.
The Knights hope to finish strong against these two opponents before a well-deserved rest over winter break. The second half of the season starts up again on Jan. 7 with a home game against the Elmira Soaring Eagles.