Ice Knights host NCAA quarter finals, fall to Colby College

Senior defender Pat Condon (pictured left) sets up for a slap shot against Colby College. Junior goaltender Devin McDonald prepares to stop a shot from a Colby forward (pictured right). The Ice Knights hosted Colby in the NCAA Quarter finals on Saturday March 17, but suffered a 2-1 loss within the last few seconds of play. The men look to return to the ice next season where they will defend their SUNYAC Title. (Keith Walters/director of multimedia)

The Ice Knights are the 2017-18 SUNYAC Champions. The men finished their tournament run with an impressive 7-1 victory over SUNY Fredonia on March 3.

The team won by sticking to their greatest asset—their offensive talent—scoring seven goals on 41 shots. The team spread the wealth, and goals were scored by six different players. Senior defenseman Pat Condon led all scorers with two goals.

The game against Fredonia started with the Ice Knights scoring four quick first period goals. Despite the early lead, the team did not change their style of play and continued with their offensive attack. 

“We wanted to make sure we kept the foot on the gas,” head coach Chris Schultz said. “It’s the only way this team [knew] how to play [up to this point].”

The Ice Knights never looked back from there, holding their lead straight through until they were able to hoist up the championship trophy. This marks the fifth SUNYAC Championship for the program and the second in the last three years.

This year’s triumph was heavily celebrated by the players, coaches and fans at Geneseo. 

“The number of fans who stayed at the end of the game just to celebrate with us was incredible,” junior defenseman Mitch Ferguson said. 

The victory was the culmination of a season-long stretch of hard work. Celebrating on home ice made that victory even more worthwhile. This achievement will now forever hang in the rafters at Geneseo. 

While the team was both excited about and proud of their victory, their attention quickly shifted to the NCAA Tournament.

The Ice Knights opened tournament play with a game against Hobart College on March 10. The team was confident with their level of play going into the matchup. 

“We’re going to go to Hobart expecting to play the exact same way we’ve been playing these past few games,” Ferguson said. 

Hobart was a tough opponent, and won their conference title, but the Ice Knights emerged from the matchup with a 4-2 victory. First year forward Dan Bosio led the Ice Knights with one goal and two assists in the game.

The opening round NCAA Tournament win earned the Ice Knights a home game advantage in the second round against Colby College, who came into the game with a 16-10-2 record and a 4-2 first round victory against the University of New England.

The Ice Knights faced off against Colby College on Saturday March 17, losing by a score of 2-1. Colby College scored their first goal in the second period. Geneseo responded midway through the third period with a power play goal from junior forward Arthur Gordon. 

The teams remained tied until the last seconds, when freshman forward Justin Grillo of Colby College fired a rebound past junior goalie Devin McDonald. The goal went in with 1.6 seconds on the clock, ending the game just like that.

Players, coaches and fans were in disbelief at the abrupt end to the Ice Knights’ tournament run. The team finished the season with a record of 20-6-3. Despite the loss, the team has a lot to be proud of and even more to look forward to. 

This year’s Ice Knights’ will forever be remembered for the SUNYAC Tournament victory, and with only two seniors graduating, this is a group that will continue on to even more triumphs next season.