The Ice Knights battle to remain at the top of the SUNYAC.
With the fall semester coming to a close, the Geneseo Ice Knights look to continue their strong season into the spring as they work to enhance their 7-2 record.
The men were successful both nights during the double header against SUNY Morrisville on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, as each game ended with a 5-1 victory over the Mustangs.
Although the team consists of many young players, the men have seemed to adjust quickly and found the key to succeeding as a whole. Their defensive triumph plays an important part in their victories, according to freshman forward Carson Kelley.
“We’re all buying into the systems, the mentality—everything you need to create a winning environment,” Kelley said. “Hockey-wise it all starts in the [defensive] zone, and I think that we’re really doing whatever it takes down there.”
Another advantage that the Ice Knights have over their rival teams is their speed. Freshman forward Dan Bosio attributes some of their success on the ice to their skating skills.
“We’re a real fast team, and we can use that to our advantage … we can get a lot of odd man rushes,” Bosio said. “We’ve been capitalizing on a lot of that, which is a huge part of our success.”
The Ice Knights may have the speed and mentality to aid in their victories, however, the men admit that their inability to play strong throughout a full game is considered a team weakness.
“If we take a shift off then it can end in the back of our net, which I think it did in Morrisville once or twice,” Kelley said. “If we can just play a complete game, we should be fine.”
Regardless of this weakness, the players know that they can overcome it, and they have high expectations for future games.
The team currently holds the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC, and the men seem confident that they will remain at the top.
“We feel great … we’re kind of on a roll right now, we’re trying to stay atop the SUNYAC,” Bosio said. “We have a few big weekends coming up to keep us in that position.”
Kelley acknowledges that having the home ice advantage for the majority of their games has certainly had a positive impact on the team’s season.
“It’s been nice playing at home for the most part, we have a great atmosphere, probably the best that we’ve seen so far,” Kelley said.
With a game against Elmira College on Saturday Nov. 25, the men had to remain on-campus for Thanksgiving break, dedicating their time to practice. While the Ice Knights have been dominating the teams ranked beneath them in the SUNYAC, the team expected Elmira to be a more challenging game.
Despite their hard work over Thanksgiving break, the men fell 3-2 to Elmira, adding a second loss to the team’s record.
In regard to the rest of their season, Bosio speaks for the team when he says that they are expecting big things.
“We just want to keep winning,” Bosio said. “Everyone’s got the same goal in mind, which is the national championship, along with the SUNYAC Championship. That’s what we’re playing for and that’s what we’re working toward.”
Though it may be easy to get carried away with such high goals, Kelley points out that “it’s hard not to think long term,” but the men have to maintain a focused outlook no matter the college they play.
“We have to keep the same mentality for every team we face,” Kelley said. “We just have to have the same mindset and attitude going into each game”
The Ice Knights will host SUNY Oswego on Friday Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and will then travel to SUNY Cortland on Saturday Dec. 2.