Ice Knights fired up after loss to Oswego, comeback against Cortland

The Geneseo men’s ice hockey team had a turbulent weekend against conference opponents SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland on Friday Feb. 9 and Saturday Feb. 10, respectively. The Ice Knights split the games with a 4-2 loss to Oswego and a 6-1 win against Cortland.

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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.

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Ice Knights’ powerful offense solidifies team’s ranking

The Geneseo Ice Knights continued their solid play as they headed north for games against SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. The team’s long road trip resulted in a 1-1 tie and a 7-4 win, respectively, as the Ice Knights pushed their streak to seven straight games without a loss.

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USA women’s hockey wins in battle for equality

United States forwards Gigi Marvin and Meghan Duggan celebrate teammate forward Hannah Brandt’s goal during the third period of an International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship game, in which the women took a 5-3 victory over Finland on Monday April 3. The women feel more stability playing the game they love, as they have recently obtained greater pay equality. (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)

Last week, on Thursday March 30, the United States women’s hockey team recorded a historic win: increased pay and support from the country’s governing body of the sport, USA Hockey. 

This contract agreement reached its conclusion after a 15-month campaign and the threat of boycotting the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships. 

“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” USA Hockey President Jim Smith said. “We’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey.”  

Under this new four-year contract, the U.S. team will be compensated approximately $70,000 per player, and that figure has the potential to increase pending success on the ice. 

In addition to the raise, this agreement also will provide more funding and support for women and girl’s hockey programs across the country. This will be achieved with the establishment of an advisory committee made up of former players, staff leaders and volunteers. 

“We are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought,” USA captain and forward Meghan Duggan said.  

This call for equal treatment brings up broader concerns of gender equality, especially in professional sports. Due to physicality and the nature of our culture’s socialization patterns, professional sports are a male dominated field. 

“We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect,” Duggan said.  

Female athletes have begun speaking out, condemning the practices of institutions that do not devote enough time, coverage and resources to all-woman sports programs. This affects more than just the pro-athletes; girls and young women are much more likely to quit playing sports at the collegiate and even the high school level. 

Many attribute this to the social implications that are associated with the “ideal” woman as being one without much muscle mass or physical strength. Not recognizing the traits of successful female athletes and giving national attention to their performances leads advocates to see the pro-sports world as perpetuating these cultural stereotypes. 

It is not only women who believe in this cause. The men’s national team also reported that they would boycott the world championship games as well. Even though a resolution was reached before they played, having the men stand in support of the women showed unity. 

The players’ associations for multiple sports additionally voiced their support for the women since March 15.

The pay inequality between men and women in professional sports is not solely based on gender. Men’s sports are more popular and bring in more revenue. Their tickets and merchandise sell more and the games are well publicized. 

It is not shocking that the women demanded more than just monetary compensation; it is the hope that the advisory committee will give more attention to women’s hockey programs not only at the professional level. 

By advocating for women in sports, attendance and public interest should increase; thus, the gap between men and women’s sports will slowly get smaller. The goal to become a professional athlete in a sport you are passionate about should be available for every young player—male or female.

Ice Knights fall to Plattsburgh in semi-finals

Senior forward Stephen Collins skates to the puck as senior forward Jack Ceglarski looks to give him space. The men fell to Plattsburgh in the semi-finals of the SUNYAC tournament, bringing their 2016-17 season to an end. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

Geneseo’s season came to a grinding halt on Saturday Feb. 25, when the No. 14 Ice Knights fell to the No. 13 Plattsburgh State Cardinals in the semi-final round of the SUNYAC playoffs. 

Although remaining ranked within the top 15 throughout the entire season and finishing with a 17-7-3 record and a .685 win percentage, the Ice Knights do not appear to be in the discussion for an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“This season, in the end, was a disappointment for us,” assistant coach Kris Heeres said. “We have a lot of talent on this team, but in games like [the SUNYACs], you can see the results if we don’t show up for a full 60 minutes.”

Geneseo traveled to Plattsburgh after narrowly losing out on the second seed of the tournament due to tiebreakers. 

“This year, there was a new tiebreaker instituted in the SUNYAC for hockey and other sports,” Heeres said. “Instead of tiebreaker by score differential against SUNYAC opponents in the regular season [to which Geneseo was +29 to Plattsburgh’s +3], it’s now record against the top team in the SUNYAC which is [No. 2] Oswego. Plattsburgh had a stronger record against them than we did, which really emphasizes that every game counts when we couldn’t close out both games against them this year.”

Failing to close out was the motif in the game against Plattsburgh when the Ice Knights entered the third period leading 2-1. The Ice Knights went on to allow four goals within the third period and ended up falling in the contest, 5-2, although the Ice Knights had a record of 15-1-2 while holding the lead after two periods against Plattsburgh’s 0-9-0 while trailing after two. 

Despite their record in such games, the Cardinals mounted an impressive four-goal comeback in the third. 

First-year forward Conlan Keenan scored both of the Ice Knights’ goals, while first-year forward Andrew Romano and sophomore forward Anthony Marra each tallied an assist in the contest. Senior goaltender Matt Leon stopped 31 of 35 sent his way, but the Ice Knights were outshot 36-20.

Although frozen at the end of the season, several Ice Knights were recognized for outstanding play. Senior forward Stephen Collins received the Herb Hammond Player of the Year award for the second year in a row in the SUNYAC conference for posting 48 points in 27 games played—19 goals, 29 assists—with two hat-tricks and nine games with three or more points. 

Receiving the SUNYAC’s Rookie of the Year award was Keenan, who’s first-year netted him a 35-point season—23 goals, 12 assists. Keenan led the Ice Knights in goals and power-play goals. 

For All-Conference teams, Collins found himself a first team honors, while Keenan and senior defensemen Derek Stahl received second team honors. 

Next year finds the Ice Knights losing a significant number of senior players, including the point’s leader Collins; captains and forwards RJ Burns and Jack Ceglarski; goaltenders Leon and Bradley Hawayek; forwards Trevor Hills and Connor Anthoine; and defensemen Cam Hampson and Matt Lee. 

While a significant gap is left by the graduating class, Geneseo has the base to create a strong team for future years. Keenan, first-year forward David Szmyd and Romano—who are Geneseo’s second, third and fourth highest scorers on the year—have incredible future potential after a strong first-year showing. 

Also in next year’s lineup are other strong contributors, such as junior defenseman Pat Condon, sophomore forwards Arthur Gordon and Marra and sophomore goaltender Devin McDonald.

“We’re going to continue to recruit strongly,” Heeres said. “We lose a tremendous senior class this year, there’s no replacing a class with this much heart. Other teams will count us out next year after losing such a strong class, but with what we’ve seen out of our younger players this year, we have high hopes for the future.”