Just one weekend of regular season play remains on the SUNYAC schedule.
However, the docket will feature at least three distinct story lines, each of which will stir the stew of the upcoming playoff picture.
Because of the way the SUNYAC standing have stratified over the course of the season, three key questions have yet to be answered.
1 – Who will win the No. 1 seed? Well, it’ll be either Geneseo or Plattsburgh, both of whom will enjoy first-round byes. That much we know. The two are tied atop the standings with 24 points, seven more than third-place (and defending champion) Oswego. The teams split their two regular-season wins and Genny has, at present, one more conference win (with 12). Yet, Plattsburgh owns the goal differential between the two, 7-6.
Both teams have tough games remaining – Genny hosts Fredonia and Buffalo State, Plattsburgh hosts Cortland and Oswego.
Without getting bogged down in all the tie-breaking stuff, Geneseo can settle the matter by winning both its games.
2 – Who will host quarterfinal games? We’re pretty sure that it will be Oswego (17 points) and Buff State (16 points), with fifth-place Fredonia needing to make up four points to avoid going on the road. Still, the picture changes with a combo of two Freddy wins and two Bengal losses.
3 – Who will slip into the round of six and who will fall out? Well, two schools – Fredonia (currently fifth with 13 points) and Brockport (sixth, 11), who meet Friday – have their fates in their own hands, while Potsdam (seventh, 10) and Cortland (eighth, 8) can still make it in, but need lots of help.
All we can say is, stay tuned.
Weekly awards handed out
With Geneseo’s twin 3-2 wins last weekend (Oswego, Cortland) have come the accompanying laurels.
The Knights swept the SUNYAC’s weekly awards, beginning with player of the week, forward Zachary Vit, who scored once in each game to up his league lead in goals to 11 (he has 17 overall). He also contributed assists in each tilt, too.
Both helpers came on what proved to be game-winning goals, by David Ripple and by freshman Jack Ceglarski, who picked up rookie of the week honors.
Behind it all was sophomore goalie Nick Horrigan, who picked up wins in both games.
He stopped a career-high 35 shots in the triumph over Oswego, then topped that with 40 saves over Cortland the following night.
Fredonia goes pink
Kudos to the Fredonia program, whose annual “Pink the Rink” effort raised $10,000 for breast cancer research.
The Blue Devils raised the money through the sale of game-worn pink jerseys which sported the names of loved ones who have fought cancer. They sold for $250 each. The players wore the jerseys, plus pink socks, for the Feb. 1 home game against Morrisville.
The Blue Devils have now raised $52,000 since 2007 and that doesn’t include gate receipts for each year’s designated “Pink” game, which this year, brought in another $3,000.
More SUNYAC commitments
Fredonia will welcome defenseman Jamie Young, who has toiled with Walpole (EHL) the past two seasons.
Young, who hails from Russell, Ohio, is a small (5-9, 175), but quick puck-moving blueliner who could give aid to the Blue Devils power play next season.
Heading to Cortland next year is forward Tommy Boland, a two-year, EHL All-Star with Connecticut.
Nolan has registered 37 points (21g, 16a) this season.
Morrisville will add size to its forward core next year with the addition of Jon Lauer of Syracuse (NSHL). Lauer (6-4, 190), a native of nearby Camillus, N.Y., was the league’s playoff MVP last year.