Despite their high morale this season, the Ice Knights failed to meet the expectations they set for themselves in their games against SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland on Friday Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 2, respectively.
The outcome against two conference opponents varied. The Ice Knights came into the weekend with a record of 7-2, but were unable to continue their strong start.
The team first took on Oswego at home in a game that resulted in a 2-2 tie.
The match against Oswego was a close fought and emotional game. Head coach Chris Schultz was dissatisfied with the result, but not with the work his team put forth on the ice.
“Effort wasn’t an issue with us on Friday night. I think emotion was the issue,” Schultz said.
The team’s anxiousness heading into the game resulted in a level of play that was not consistent with what the Ice Knights usually have.
The players, however, were not completely upset. The goal going into every game should be to win, but when playing a top opponent like Oswego, it is important not to get too down after a result like a tie.
“It would’ve been nice to pull out a victory,” sophomore forward Tyson Empey said. “But it was a really good team, so we can’t complain with getting a tie there.”
The biggest take away from the Oswego game was that the Ice Knights need to keep their composure when competing against strong opponents.
The following night on Saturday Dec. 2, the Ice Knights lost 4-3 in overtime against Cortland. The Red Dragons were an opponent that the Ice Knights expected to beat, as Cortland had a record of 3-7 heading into the game. Statistically, the Ice Knights should have been the better team.
Effort was a significant issue this time in the first two periods for Geneseo, and they found themselves trailing 2-1 heading into the third period.
“I’m not sure what happened, but for whatever reason we came out pretty flat the first two periods,” Empey said.
The Ice Knights started strong in the third period, outshooting Cortland 17-4 and sending the game to overtime, however, they were unable to complete the comeback. Cortland scored less than a minute into the overtime period to end the game.
The loss should be a wake-up call to the Ice Knights that they need to take take all opponents seriously.
Shultz was disconcerted with the endeavor his team showed on the ice against Cortland. He expressed that it was actually a good thing his team lost the game.
“If our team thinks that they can show up for one period and win a game against a conference opponent, that sends the wrong message,” Schultz said.
This weekend should be a turning point for the Ice Knights. They can either stay satisfied with being average or make sure they put forth their best effort, regardless of who their opponent is.
“The biggest message coming out of the weekend was ‘who are we gonna be?’” Schultz said.
The Ice Knights will try to prove that they belong in the top tier of their conference after a good week of practice and a higher level of focus in their upcoming games. They face another top opponent, SUNY Brockport, on Friday Dec. 8, which will be their last game before winter break.u