FREDONIA, N.Y. — Geneseo jumped out to the initial lead and then had to hold off a determined Fredonia team, finally prevailing 5-2, as Dan Scagnelli got a goal and three assists. The Ice Knights needed an empty-net goal to finally put the game away.
“We played well enough in the first two periods to win,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “The third period, however, we did not play well. We cannot win games if we play like that. But, we got a good road win.”
“If you just measure by the results, you would think nothing has changed from last Friday’s loss,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “I’m feeling a lot different today because we worked hard. I thought we did some good things. It comes down to a couple of plays. We’re making progress.”
Geneseo jumped out to a 2-0 lead on shots from the point. Scagnelli got the first from the right point while Jonathan Redlick notched the other from the left point.
Scagnelli’s shot, at 3:02, was a low slap shot that beat Mark Friesen stick side. Redlick’s goal was during a power play, as he shot a knuckler which Friesen couldn’t pick up through the screen, and it sailed over his glove.
“We got spread out on our forecheck on our kill and they got the power-play goal,” Meredith said.
“Scagnelli is one of those diamonds in a rough,” Schultz said. “He wasn’t recruited. He’s big and fast. He also came in young, so he’s really coming around now.”
Less than a couple of minutes later, Fredonia got it back on a power play of their own. Bryan Ross, from the top of the right circle, went to pass it to his teammate at the backdoor. However, Mat Hehr, standing at the top of crease, intercepted the pass, redirecting it with his backhand. Adrian Rubeniuk also played the original pass, so the net was wide open.
Despite only a one-goal lead, Geneseo had the better of play for most of the 20 minutes. Usually, it’s the home team that gets off to a strong start.
“We were hungry after last week’s loss (to Morrisville),” Schultz said. “Our goal is not to lose two in a row this year.”
It didn’t take long at the start of the second period for the Ice Knights to get back to a two-goal lead. At 3:19, David Arduin took a pass from the boards to one-time it past Friesen.
Six minutes later, Geneseo opened the lead up to 4-1. Ryan Bulach finished off a two-on-one after a perfect feed from Stefan Decosse.
“We were on the rush,” Meredith said. “All we did last week was practice getting to the net and getting the puck to the net, and for some unknown reason we decided to do a drop pass, and they took the drop pass and went the other way and put it in the net.”
Once again, Fredonia refused to go away. Jordan Oye scored at 13:22 after a great individual effort. He dipsy-doodled past two defenders to take on the goalie alone, flipping the puck past Rubeniuk.
Fredonia came out strong in the third period, putting Geneseo back on its heels. The Blue Devils tried in wave after wave to beat Rubeniuk, but he stopped them each time. Once, the crossbar came to the rescue as a shot smashed off the bar, sending a ring throughout Steele Hall Ice Arena. Rubeniuk wound up with 36 saves.
“Their goalie played well,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “There was a toe save with four or five minutes left to go. It would have changed the complexion of the game.”
“‘Ruby’ made some key saves in the third period,” Schultz said. “When they had their goalie pulled, he made some very close saves. If he doesn’t make them, the game changes.”
Fredonia pulled Friesen with 2:54 left, and after putting a lot of pressure on the Geneseo net, the Ice Knights finally broke out of their zone. Decosse got the empty-net goal after Fredonia misplayed the puck during a line change.
Geneseo (4-1-1, 3-1) travels to Buffalo State tomorrow night. The Bengals defeated Brockport tonight, 5-4.
Fredonia (1-5,1-3) stays home to face Brockport.