GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo junior forward Andrew Romano totaled a goal and three assists to lead the Knights to a 5-2 victory over Fredonia in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Men's Ice Hockey Semifinals, Saturday.
Geneseo (23-1-2) advanced to the SUNYAC Championship game for the third time in the last four years. The top-seeded and defending-champion Knights will host second-seeded Oswego next Saturday (Mar. 2) at 7:00 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Geneseo struck first at the 16:10 mark of the first period. Romano received the puck at the top of the Fredonia zone and got loose after deking a defender. Romano slid a nice feed across the crease to junior forward Conlan Keenan on the left post for an easy tap-in.
- Fredonia answered with 6:24 left in the first after junior defenseman Max Blitz intercepted a Knights' clearing attempt at the top-left corner of the Geneseo zone and scored on a long shot through traffic.
- Geneseo built a 5-1 lead with four second-period goals. Senior forward Anthony Marra collected a loose puck off the left boards deep in the Fredonia zone and jammed a shot on the left post that trickled through Fredonia senior goalie Eric Bogart's pads. Sophomore forward Dan Bosio pounced on the loose puck and put the Knights back on top at 16:40.
- Skating 5-on-3 following back-to-back Fredonia penalties, junior forward Tyson Empey took a feed from senior defenseman Mitch Ferguson and sent a pass across the front of the goal to Romano in the opposite corner. Romano sat for a split second and scored the power-play wrist shot inside the right post with 11:45 to play in the second.
- Romano later took a puck off the boards behind the Fredonia net and flipped a pass in front of the right post to Empey for a quick finish at 6:06. Four minute later, Romano wrapped another pass from behind the left post across to junior forward David Szmyd on the right wing for a scoring wrist shot at 2:08.
- Fredonia got one back with 11:34 left in the third after senior forward Jimmy Morgan got loose in the slot and scored a power-play tally for the final goal of the game.
- Geneseo made its fourth-straight appearance in the SUNYAC Semifinals and ninth since the tournament was changed to a single-elimination format in 2007.
- The Knights tied a program record with their 23rd victory of the season, joining the 2013-14 (23-7-0), 1990-91 (23-4-3) and 1989-90 (23-9-2) as the winningest Geneseo teams ever.
- Romano notched his 86th career assist to surpass Bill Gillam '85 for 13th in program history. He also moved past Erik Stevens '87 for 25th on the all-time scoring list with 110 points.
- Senior goalie Devin McDonald was credited with 15 saves to move into a three-way tie for fifth place in NCAA Division III history with his 68th career victory, joining Elmira's Glen Lombardi (1977-80) and Plattsburgh's Nilas Sundberg (1999-02).
- Keenan climbed into a tie for 20th place with Mike McDonald '07 with 120 career points. He also tied Greg Doell '98 for 13th with his 63rd-career goal.
- Geneseo improved to 20-0-1 this season when scoring first and 23-0-0 when leading after two periods.
SUNYAC TOURNAMENT NOTES
- Second-seeded Oswego (19-5-2) advanced to next week's championship game with a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Plattsburgh.
- Geneseo defeated the visiting Lakers, 3-0 (Dec. 1) before coming back to earn a 4-4 tie (Feb. 9) on the road in this season's previous two matchups.