It was certainly a trying year for Geneseo last season when the NCAA sanctions were handed down. Yet, despite that distraction, the Ice Knights finished very strong.
“I used the analogy last year that I wanted us to perform like a good stock,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “We got off to a rough start with a very tough schedule. By the time the season ended, we were playing the type of hockey we expect at Geneseo. Ending the season with a seven-game unbeaten streak is certainly the way to do it.”
Geneseo really started to gel at the end of the season. With their goaltenders returning, an impressive recruiting effort, and no dark NCAA cloud hanging over their heads, Geneseo may be more than a solid contender this year; they may disrupt the top two.
Empty Lockers: Quite frankly, Geneseo has no desire to look back.
“We’ve turned the page,” Schultz said. “Nobody is even talking about it anymore. We’re looking forward to moving on, playing Geneseo hockey, and making some noise in the SUNYAC.”
The Core: The Smoke Eaters Line (because they all played on that junior team) is back, consisting of Stefan Decosse, David Arduin, and Ryan Bulach. After missing half the season with injuries, Jonathan Redlick should have a breakout year if he stays healthy.
Mike Forgione and Clint Olson will help prevent pucks from going in as their two top defensive forwards. Expect more offensive production from Kaz Iwamoto and Corbin Rosmarin.
One area Geneseo does not have to worry about is goaltending, as both netminders, sophomore Adrian Rubeniuk and junior Cory Gershon, are coming off a solid season.
“Both goalies are capable,” Schultz said. “Both performed well in big games. We’re very confident in our goaltending.”
New Gear: Zachary Vit and Rich Manley, who will play on a line centered by Redlick, are big players with good hockey sense. They should make an immediate impact. Forward Carson Schell is a typical Geneseo player — a good two-way player. Jonathan Sucese can help out at forward or defense, while Ryan Goldberg comes in as a blueliner.
Key Question: How Geneseo starts the season out will determine which position they contend for. They started out 3-5 in the first half of SUNYAC play, but went 6-1-1 in the second half. This pattern was what Schultz expected, and had they been allowed to be in the playoffs, the strategy may have worked, as they were peaking for the second season.
However, if they want to contend for a first round bye, they will have to start out winning games.
“We want to see what we’re made of right away,” Schultz said.
Mark Your Calendar Game: December 4 vs. Oswego.
This game isn’t being picked because they are playing Oswego. It just so happens to be the last SUNYAC game of the first half of the season. This isn’t really a “Mark Your Calendar Game,” but rather a “Check-the-Status-of-the-Season Date.” Depending on where they stand after playing Oswego, this could be a three-horse race for first place instead of the usual Plattsburgh-Oswego battle.