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College Hockey:
Elmira Crushes Geneseo

Special Teams Spark Soaring Eagles

— Elmira scored five special teams goals en route to a 6-1 victory over Geneseo at the Ira S. Wilson Arena. The Soaring Eagles were four-for-eight on the power play and added a shorthanded goal to improve their record to 11-0-2 and give coach Tim Ceglarski his 100th career victory behind the Elmira bench.

Elmira, ranked second in the USCHO.com poll, is the only undefeated left in Division III.

“We’ve got a nice team,” said Ceglarski. “I’m a little suprised (to be undefeated) because we’re young, but we’re playing very well right now. I really like our defense. I think top to bottom it’s the best we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

It didn’t take long for the Soaring Eagles to get on the scoreboard as Ryan Arnone banged in a rebound past Geneseo goaltender Derek Jokic at 3:11. It came on the power play, and was the only goal of the first period. Elmira outshot Geneseo 10-5 in the first stanza.

As they had done in the first period, Elmira got a power play goal early in the second. Karl Linden’s shot was stopped by Jokic, but Stefan Schoen was at the far post and put the rebound in to make it 2-0.

The backbreaker came at 5:38. A shorthanded clear by Larry Willard handcuffed Jokic, the puck fell to his skates, and as he fell backwards, Jockic kicked the puck into his own net.

Geneseo coach Chris Shultz replaced Jokic at that point with Jeff Pasemko, who had played only 15 minutes so far this season. Jokic finished the night with 12 saves.

“He came to the bench and said, ‘I’m sorry coach’, said Shultz. “He was fighting the puck all night. I could see it in warmups.”

Geneseo looked to make a game of it at 10:40. On a three on two rush, Jeff MacPhee put a wrist shot past Elmira goaltender Casey Tuttle to make it 3-1.

That was as close as Geneseo would get, however. Russell Smith scored another Elmira power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the period.

The Soaring Eagles got their only even strength goal at 13:08 from Jan Velich and close things out with a five-on-three power play tally with 25 seconds to play.

“Our power play has been just O.K. this season,” said Ceglarski. “But tonight we moved the puck well and went hard to the net. We set up some nice screens.”

“We’re having all sorts to trouble scoring goals,” said Schultz. “I looked up at the scoreboard in the third period and we were only getting outshot 23-18. It shouldn’t be a 5-1 game at that point.”

Final shots were 25-20 in favor of Elmira.

Geneseo falls to 5-11 and will host Utica next Saturday before returning to SUNYAC play. Elmira travels to Lebanon Valley next weekend for a pair of league games.

“We need to keep the momentum,” said Ceglarski. “All games are important for us, league or non-league. We’re in a conference without an automatic bid so you need to win 20 games to have a shot at the (NCAA) tournament.”

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