There certainly was a lot to write home about after the Geneseo Ice Knights’ opening slate of games. With two shut-out wins in away games, the Ice Knights began the season with a bang.
Junior forward Andrew Romano did not have to send news of the victories very far as Geneseo’s first two games against King’s College and Neumann College were played in his home state of Pennsylvania. Romano certainly played well in front of the hometown crowd.
Romano tallied five total points over the weekend—one goal and four assists—including the first goal of the season for the Knights, six minutes into their game against the King’s College Monarchs. His five points were only good enough to be tied for second on the team, however, with junior forward and captain Conlan Keenan who also had one goal and four assists.
Junior forward Tyson Empey was the Ice Knight that shined the brightest with four goals and two assists, good for six points to lead the team over the weekend. Three of his four goals came in the 8-0 win against Neumann College for his second career hat-trick.
Clearly, the theme of the weekend was scoring and there certainly was a lot of it. The Knights put up a gaudy 10 goals on 58 shots against King’s College on Friday Oct. 26 compared to the zero goals on nine shots by the Monarchs.
The first period saw goals from Romano, freshman defender Brendan Miller and senior forward Anthony Marra. Sophomore forward Gordan Helmuth opened the second period with a goal, followed by goals by Miller and senior forward Joe Serpico.
The fourth goal of the period came while the Knights were on the penalty kill. Senior forward Arthur Gordon netted a shorthanded goal during a two-on-one breakaway seconds before the period ended. Keenan scored in the third period, joined by Empey and a powerplay goal from sophomore forward Dan Bosio. Freshman defender Chris Perna had three assists. He and Miller combined for five points for the Knights first year players.
After the game, Keenan revealed how players took over leadership roles this weekend. This leadership is apparent in the message Keenan gave the Knights before the third period against King’s College.
“Keep good habits, [don’t] cheat the game…and focus on defense because defense will create more offense,” Keenan instructed the team.
Senior goalie Devin McDonald had an effortless season opener, only needing to make nine saves on the few shots the Monarchs could muster up over 60 minutes of play. The next day on Saturday Oct. 27 against the Neumann Knights, McDonald had a bit more work to do. He still, however, only had to make 16 saves.
Geneseo took advantage of an aggressive Neumann team who had already committed 14 penalties in their first game against SUNY Brockport. The Knights scored five of their eight goals on the powerplays. Empey scored all three of his goals on a powerplay, and Gordon scored both of his goals on the powerplay. Marra, senior defender Duggie Lagrone and junior forward David Szmyd added to the offensive barrage with goals of their own.
Overall the Knights scored 18 goals on 99 shots. McDonald already has two shutouts under his belt thanks to the great defense in front of him.
Assistant Coach Kris Heeres, in his 13th season with the Ice Knights, admitted this is “the deepest team” he has coached and is “poised for a championship run” especially due to the production they have already received from first-year players Miller and Perna.
The Knights will look to use their depth to open up SUNYAC play with games against Buffalo State and SUNY Fredonia this weekend. Geneseo travels to Fredonia on Friday Nov. 2 and will face Buffalo State in their home opener on Saturday Nov. 3.