Ice Knights credit victories over SUNY Canton to strong goaltending, team effort

The Geneseo Ice Knights showed off their offense in two wins against the SUNY Canton Kangaroos on Friday Feb. 2 and Saturday Feb. 3. The team scored 14 total goals and had a 7-0 win on Friday night and a 7-1 win on Saturday night.

The first game of the weekend was a result of a solid effort on both the offensive and defensive sides for the Ice Knights. The team spread the puck around well on the offensive end, with six different players scoring in the game. Sophomore forward Tyson Empey led all goal scorers with two during the game and, he leads the team with 18 on the season.

The power play was clicking on all cylinders and the Ice Knights were able to tally four goals when they had an extra man on the ice. 

“We’ve got a really skilled team with skilled players on the power play,” assistant coach Kris Heeres said. “When a team gets undisciplined, like Canton did this weekend, we’re going to make you pay.”

The defensive effort was just as impressive as the offensive, as the Ice Knights only allowed 20 shots on goal. Junior goalie Devin McDonald was able to get in front of all 20 and record his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career.

McDonald’s teammates were quick to praise him for his strong play. 

“He’s been really solid. He’s had so many close games where just one goal goes in or maybe two,” senior forward Sotiri Athanasopoulos said.

The men followed up their excellent Friday night performance with another dominating victory on Saturday. The Ice Knights found the back of the net seven times once more in a 7-1 rout. Again, six different players scored with sophomore forward Conlan Keenan leading all goal scorers with two goals.

The team attributes their strong play over the weekend to hard work and other intangibles. 

“I think the chemistry this late in the season is really starting to come together,” Athanasopoulous said. “We’re working hard and that’s the main thing.”

The Ice Knights came up big on defense once again on Saturday night as they only allowed 19 shots and gave up just one goal. The Ice Knights are typically best known for their offensive talent, but this team has just as much talent in the defensive phase of the game.

“We’ve got our top six defensive core...which we believe is the best in the SUNYAC, if not the best in the country,” Heeres said.

The Ice Knights are currently on a nine-game streak without a loss. They sit tied for second in the SUNYAC with a conference record of 8-2-3 and overall record of 15-4-3. The team has a big weekend coming up with two conference opponents. 

The game on Friday Feb. 9 will have a lot riding on it, as the Ice Knights take on SUNY Oswego who currently sits at No. 1 in the SUNYAC standings. The game will be a big test and a win would go a long way in helping the Ice Knights secure a top seed for the conference tournament.

The following night, Saturday Feb. 10, the Ice Knights will face SUNY Cortland. Securing two conference games would be huge for the Ice Knights this late in the season.

“It’s important to enjoy every moment of it,” Athanasopoulous said. 

The men are happy with where they stand at the moment and are excited for what is to come