The Red lost some spunk and some spark in Scott (10-20-30) and Sawada (10-16-26), but returns three of its top five scorers and eight of 10 double-digit producers from last year. Greening (14-19-33) led the team in goals and points, and lined up with Riley Nash (12-20-32) and, by the end of the season, freshman Patrick Kennedy (4-6-10).
“The biggest thing [working for us] is we lost a small class … we lost one defenseman … as far as big gaping holes, we don’t really have that this year,” said coach Mike Schafer.
The coach looks to Greening, Nash and third-year Blake Gallagher (6-11-17) to steadily improve, and the squad looks well-suited to support its more assertive members. Senior center Michael Kennedy (10-16-26), Nash and Greening each notched double-digits in goals last year, as did transfer senior Derek Punches with Wayne State’s now-defunct program.
Krantz was the only defenseman to don the mortarboard last spring, as Schafer will welcome back six blueliners who played significant time for him in 2006-07.
Junior Brendon Nash (2-14-16) was the most prominent among them, but sophomore Mike Devin (4-11-15) and junior Justin Krueger (4-5-9) made a little ruckus on the season’s scoresheets as well. Jared Seminoff (1-4-5) and Taylor Davenport (1-2-3) are the senior leaders in back, and sophomore Jordan Berk (1-0-1) rounds out the veterans who skated in at least two dozen contests.
Keir Ross will try to nose his way into the lineup, after playing a strong defensive season with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL, “arguably the best junior team in the country last year,” according to Schafer.
This section should begin and end with Ben Scrivens. Seniors Dan DiLeo and Troy Davenport will back up the .930-save percentage junior, who posted a 2.02 goals-against average as well … good for the nod as the preseason All-League goaltender. Twenty-one year old Mike Garman hops over from Nanaimo of the British Columbia league to vie for attention in Scrivens’ shadow.
Cornell looks to be as good a bet as any to fight for a top-three spot in the league, and will realistically have to be considered a disappointment should it fail to secure a first-round bye. Simply too many talented and battle-tested cogs out there in the Big Red Machine.