Last week, I wrote about some of the seniors leading the way in the SUNYAC. This week, I’ll talk about some of the newcomers making their mark in their rookie seasons.
Three teams dominate the top five of the freshmen scoring chart — Potsdam, Fredonia, and Morrisville.
The Bears not only have the top freshman scorer in the conference, but he also tops all rookies in the country. Trevor Cope leads the nation in assists (14), points (21), and points-per-game (1.62). Of course, it helps that he is good enough to play on the same line as the nation’s leading scorer, Sy Nutkevitch, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Adam Place. That line is by far Potsdam’s best, as it has accounted for 21 of the team’s 55 goals.
Fourth in team scoring is another freshman, defenseman Erick Ware. In conference play, Ware leads all freshman defensemen scoring (2-6-8, 2-9-11 overall) and is tied among all defensemen with juniors Zach Josepher (Oswego) and Mike Grace (Plattsburgh), who both are 0-8-8. He is tied for fourth among freshmen scoring in conference play.
Fredonia has a trio of freshmen lighting the lamp, though one has missed a couple of months to illness. Jared Wynia leads the conference in goals (six) and is second in points with nine. Stephen Castriota is one point behind. They are two-three for their team in overall points.
“They’ve been huge,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “Look at the offense we lost last year. That’s a lot of offense, and to have two freshmen like these two guys able to contribute like that is huge.”
Brian Doust made a quick impact with two goals and four assists in the first seven games. However, he came down with mononucleosis, and just returned to action on Tuesday against Elmira.
“Brian Doust has been riding under the radar,” Meredith said. “Had he been playing, he would be right up with them.
“They can all shoot the puck. All three of them are goal scorers. That’s the biggest skill they bring.”
Tied for second in freshmen scoring among conference stats is Morrisville’s Patrick Stillar (2-7-9, 5-10-15 overall). Unfortunately, he will not be returning for the second semester as financial issues have forced him to take a sabbatical from school for the time being. He returned to the Ontario League for the remainder of this season.
“It’s a big loss,” Morrisville coach Brian Grady said. “His stats speak for themselves. He had a great first half. He’s an excellent offensive talent. The sky’s the limit for him, not just at this level. He has aspirations beyond that. We’re hopeful we can get him to return in the fall.”
Among goaltenders, the only freshman seeing time is Potsdam’s Dylan Ellis. He sits in the middle of the goalies in conference play with a 3.63 GAA, and is fourth with a .903 save pct.
These are just some of the stars you will hopefully be watching over the next three and a half years. Other players to keep an eye on are Mark Constantine, Jake Mooney, and Alex Jensen (Plattsburgh), Troy Polino (Brockport), and Nick Zappia and Tyler Virgoe (Cortland).
On the world stage
This piece of news is a bit old. I must have had too much eggnog over the holidays, and I missed it.
Two SUNYAC officials, both linesmen, were selected, among 22 Americans, to work at the IIHF world championships.
Chris Woodworth (Rochester, N.Y.) just got back from Calgary and Edmonton for the World Junior Championship. Fraser McIntyre (Amherst, N.Y.) will be traveling in April to Ljubljana, Slovenia for the Division I, Group A Men’s World Championship.
SUNYAC Players of the Week (selected by the conference)
Player of the Week: David Arduin, Sr., Geneseo. Recorded four goals and one assist in a two-game series against Franklin Pierce. Arduin scored the second goal and assisted on the third to help Geneseo mount a 5-4 comeback win Friday night. Saturday, he posted his first career hat trick in the 8-0 shutout. He netted the second and third goal in a span of 16 seconds to close out the final two minutes of the first period. Arduin completed his hat track 2:13 into the second for an early 4-0 lead. He is currently third on the team with 11 points (8 goals and three assists).
Rookie of the Week: Aaron Green, Brockport. Made a career-high 31 saves in the third start of his young career Friday night. The Golden Eagles fell short to Neumann University, 3-2. Green was consistent in net, stopping 10 shots in the first and third period and saving 11 attempts in the second.
Goalie of the Week: Kevin Carr, So., Buffalo State. Had two solid outings on the road against tough opponents as Buffalo State went 1-0-1 on the weekend. Carr finished with a 31-save performance in a 1-1 tie at St. Anselm Friday night, including 15 stops in the third period and three more in overtime. On Saturday, Carr turned aside 23 of the 26 shots he faced as the Bengals skated to a 4-3 overtime victory against New England College.