GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo men's ice hockey team opens the 2019-20 season this Friday and Saturday with trips to Potsdam and Plattsburgh, respectively. Ranked first in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) preseason poll as well as third in the nation, here are six things you need to know about the Knights this season.
Geneseo looks to top the winningest season in program history after compiling a 25-2-2 record that included its second-straight SUNYAC Championship and fourth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance in six seasons. The Knights defeated Oswego, 4-3, to win their third SUNYAC crown in four years before taking down Manhattanville, 8-2, to clinch their third NCAA Tournament Semifinal appearance in six years.
RED LIGHT (clap, clap) RED LIGHT!
Geneseo returns four of its top-five scorers from last winter's squad that led Division III with 4.90 goals per game. Senior forwards Andrew Romano led the nation with 52 points and 42 assists while senior forward Conlan Keenan finished second with 48 points, tied for second with 23 goals and tied for 14th with 25 assists. Senior forward David Szmyd is back after tying for 29th with 33 points and 28th with 21 assists. Senior forward Tyson Empey finished second in the country with 12 power play goals while tying for 36th with 32 points and 33rd with 14 goals.
Keenan was voted a First-Team All-American while Romano landed Second-Team All-America recognition. Keenan was also tabbed the Herb Hammond Award as the SUNYAC Player of the Year and joined Keenan (1st team) and Empey (2nd team) in all-conference honors.
REBUILDING THE BACK END
Fourteenth-year head coach Chris Schultz looks to replace a strong Class of 2019 that included Sid Watson Award Winner (Division III National Player of the Year) Devin McDonald as well as first-team All-American defenseman Duggie Lagrone. Also tabbed the SUNYAC Goalie of the Year, McDonald led the nation with a 1.22 goals against average, finished fourth with a .940 save percentage and set an NCAA Division III record with 12 shutouts. Lugrone tied for fifth among the nation's defenseman with 27 points (7 goals/20 assists) while anchoring the nation's top defensive unit that allowed a Division III low 1.31 goals per game. Fellow blue liner Mitch Ferguson also graduated after leading the nation's defenseman and tying for 23rd overall with 36 points, including 27 assists that tied for the country's eighth-highest total.
HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE…
Geneseo finished the 2018-19 season with a 14-0-1 record at Wilson Ice Arena while out-scoring its guests, 77-16. Over the last six seasons, the Knights own a .773 winning percentage on home ice while out-scoring the visitors nearly 2-to-1.
Season - Home Record - Scoring Margin
2018-19 | 14-0-1 | 77-16
2017-18 | 12-1-1 | 64-18
2016-17 | 9-2-2 | 68-20
2015-16 | 12-1-3 | 76-45
2014-15 | 5-8-1 | 42-38
2013-14 | 12-4-0 | 69-47
Overall | 64-16-8 | 396-186 (.773 Win %)
Following this weekend's openers, Geneseo hosts Nazareth on Tuesday (Nov. 5) and Canton next Saturday (Nov. 9) in its first two home contest of the season. The Knights head to Cortland (Nov. 15) before hosting Oswego the following night in a rematch of last year's SUNYAC Championship game. A trip to Buffalo State (Nov. 22) precedes a visit from Fredonia (Nov. 23), before Geneseo hosts Amherst (Nov. 30) and Williams (Dec. 1) the weekend after Thanksgiving. Geneseo closes the semester hosting Brockport (Dec. 6) before opening the New Year hosting King's (Pa.) and Neumann (Jan. 3-4). After a three-game road trip to Stevenson (Jan. 10), Lebanon Valley (Jan. 11) and Elmira (Jan. 14), the Knights return to SUNYAC play hosting Potsdam and Plattsburgh (Jan. 24-25). Geneseo takes a trip to Morrisville for two games (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) followed by a ride to Oswego (Feb. 7). The Knights entertain Cortland (Feb. 8) and Buffalo State (Feb. 14) in the final home games of the regular season before heading to Fredonia (Feb. 15) and Brockport (Feb. 22) with an eye on the postseason. The SUNYAC Quarterfinals are slated for Feb. 26 followed by the semifinals on Feb. 29. The championship game will take place March 7.