The Geneseo men’s club hockey team—known as the Geneseqs—is off to a strong start this season, defeating Mercyhurst University by a score of 7-2 on Oct. 20. Junior forward Tommy Grammatico had a hat trick in the victory, netting three goals before the start of the third period.
“It was a team win,” Grammatico said after the game. “We all created a lot of chances. I’m just glad we could capitalize on enough of them to get that first win.”
This win is more than just a W in a column for the Geneseqs, though. This win is a statement. The team is playing in the Division II American Collegiate Hockey Association for the first season ever, a big step up from the league they had been a part of in years prior.
“We’ve always had success at that level, but I don’t think the timing could be any better for us,” captain and senior forward Joe O’Bryan said. “We made a big jump talent-wise this year. We’re faster, we can move the puck, and it showed in that win at Mercyhurst. We feel that we belong in this league.”
The SEQS did indeed make a big jump this year, adding upwards of six new players and expanding the roster significantly.
“We like having options,” assistant captain and senior defenseman Aidan Flanagan said. “Having a big talent pool makes for some healthy competition and high intensity practices. It helps us all improve every time we hit the ice.”
Despite making the leap to a more competitive league, the SEQS haven’t lost touch with their roots. Since their founding, they have been a group that likes to have fun and to win, seeing the value in both.
The SEQS have never had a coach, and a new, more legitimate league hasn’t changed that. They remain the only team on the schedule without a coaching staff.
“We like doing things our way,” O’Bryan said. “We give our guys a lot of freedom, and they seem to respond well to it. Things can get a little messy and disorganized, but that’s just the way we roll.”
“I love the way we’re set up,” assistant captain and senior forward Brandon Mahajan said. “We take wins on the ice just as seriously as fun off the ice.”
The men’s club hockey team funds itself. All the members pay for ice time and jerseys, carpool to games and take time out of their busy academic schedules to practice late at night twice a week. This fosters a culture of men who want to be there and who want to win.
“We should be fine,” Mahajan said of how their lack of a coaching staff will work in the new league. “There is no better feeling than stomping on teams that count us out because of who we are. We can’t wait to show the league why we should be taken seriously.”
The SEQS are looking forward to a non-league game this Sunday Nov. 5 against ACHA powerhouse Erie Community College in Buffalo.
“I mean, it’ll be a test without a doubt, but we’re definitely ready for it. League game or not, every game counts,” O’Bryan said. “We’ve got a couple guys with some ties to ECC, so there should be some fireworks. We’re looking forward to it.”
The SEQS have their home opener against Hilbert College on Dec. 2 in the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena.u