Men's Ice Hockey Hosts Manhattanville In NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals

FULL GAME NOTES (.PDF) - GENESEO MANHATTANVILLE
 
GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo hosts Manhattanville in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, Saturday night. After receiving a first-round bye, the Knights are in the hunt for their third national semifinal appearance in six years while the Valiants defeated UMass-Boston, 6-4, in a road first-round contest for their first NCAA victory since 2007.
 
The Knights (24-1-2) earned an automatic bid to the tournament after defeating Oswego, 4-3, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship game (March 2) for their second-straight title and third in the last four years. Manhattanville (18-8-5) upset Utica in the finals of the UCHC Tournament, bouncing back from a 5-2 loss to earn a 4-3 victory and a 2-1 mini-game triumph for its first-ever conference title. 
 
Saturday's winner will advance to play either Norwich (Vt.) or the University of New England (Maine) next Friday (March 22) with a berth in the national championship game the following day on the line. The semifinals and championship game will be played on the campus of one of the remaining four teams, to be determined.
 
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE GAME - VIDEO | STATS
A live, hi-def broadcast of Saturday's game will be available on GeneseoKnights.com, including live commentary provided by Geneseo student radio station WGSU FM's Nate Sharman (PbP) and Sam Cooper (Color). Live statistics will also be available at GeneseoKnights.com while in-game updates will be posted on Twitter (@GeneseoKnights). Fans can also have scoring updates delivered directly to their mobile devices by downloading the Geneseo Knights Front Row app (available on Google Play and in the Apple App Store) and turning on "notifications" for men's ice hockey. 
 
THE LAST TIME OUT
Geneseo senior defenseman Mitch Ferguson totaled two goals and an assist, including what proved to be the game-winning tally with 5:05 left in regulation to lead the Knights to a 4-3 victory over visiting Oswego in the SUNYAC Championship game (March 2). The Lakers opened the scoring in the fifth minute of action, but Ferguson scored the first of three-straight Geneseo goals to put the Knights on top, 3-1, with under five minutes left in the second period. Oswego notched back-to-back tallies to re-tie the game, 3-3, with 9:52 left in regulation, but Ferguson scored on a shot from the top of the zone that evaded a screened Laker goalie for the deciding tally. Ferguson was voted Tournament MVP for his efforts. 
 
GENESEO IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Geneseo is making its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including its third in the last four seasons and seventh overall. Last winter, the Knights defeated host Hobart, 4-2, in the first round before falling at home to Colby, 2-1, on a last-second goal in the quarterfinals. Two years earlier, Geneseo defeated Salve Regina (R.I.), 7-1, and Williams (Mass.), 2-1, in a pair of home games before falling to eventual national champion Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 5-1, in a national semifinal game played at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. The Knights turned a 2014 at-large bid into wins over Nichols (Mass.), 3-2, and Norwich (Vt.), 3-2, for the first NCAA Tournament victories in program history. Playing in its first-ever national semifinal, Geneseo fell to eventual national champion St. Norbert (Wisc.), 6-2, in a game played in Lewiston, Maine. The Knights made back-to-back NCAA Tournament showings in 2005 and 2006 along with their first appearance in 1990.
 
GENESEO IN THE SUNYAC
Geneseo closed the regular season with a 13-1-2 record in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) to clinch the top seed for the postseason tournament. Receiving a first-round bye to the semifinals, the Knights defeated fifth-seeded Fredonia at home, 5-2, before moving past second-seeded Oswego, 4-3, in the championship game for their second-straight and sixth overall league title. Geneseo also won the 2016 championship, back-to-back crowns in 2005 and 2006, and its first championship in 1986.
 
GENESEO VS. MANHATTANVILLE
Saturday marks the sixth all-time meeting between Geneseo and Manhattanville and the first since 2009. The Valiants lead the all-time series, 3-1-1, including a 1-1-1 record at Wilson Ice Arena. Geneseo earned a 4-2 road win in 2000 (Nov. 25) in the teams' first-ever meeting before falling on the road in the season-opener, 10-1 (Oct. 20) as well as at home, 6-1 (Dec. 8) during the 2001-02 campaign. The teams tied, 4-4, (Oct. 18) in Geneseo a season later before Manhattanville earned a 6-5 road win (Dec. 13) during the 2009-10 season. 
 
HOME COOKIN'
Geneseo enters Saturday's game with a 13-0-1 home record this winter and is 61-16-8 (.765) over the last six seasons while only losing four times at home in the last four (46-4-7/.868). The Knights have out-scored visiting teams, 69-14, this season, including a 21-5 edge in power-play goals while killing 45-of-50 short-handed situations. Geneseo only trailed four times at Wilson Ice Arena this season, coming back to finish with a 3-0-1 record in those games. The Knights faced a multiple-goal deficit only once, making up a 3-1 deficit with 10:59 left in the second period to tie Buffalo State, 4-4, in the home-opener (Nov. 3).
 
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!
Geneseo rides the nation's second-longest unbeaten streak into Saturday's game, compiling a 21-0-1 record it its last 22 outings (UW-Stevens Point owns a 26-0-2 record). The Knights also set a program record with 17-straight victories earlier this season, more than doubling the previous record of eight achieved during the 1976-77 campaign and again in 1990-91. 
 
QUICK OUT OF THE BLOCKS
Geneseo owns a 19-0-1 record this season when scoring first and is 21-0-1 when leading after the first period (scored first and led, 3-2, at Oswego, finished tied, 4-4). The Knights have out-scored their opposition, 53-11, in the first period and have only trailed twice (vs. Buffalo St., at Plattsburgh) following 20 minutes of play. Geneseo is also 24-0-0 when leading after the second period. 
 
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER
Geneseo owns the nation's top scoring offense and defense, leading the way with 4.89 goals per game while only allowing 1.19 per outing for a +3.70 scoring margin. The Knights power play also ranks first in Division III, converting better than 29 percent of their opportunities (39-134/.291)
 
NO SOUP FOR YOU
Geneseo set an NCAA Division III record with 12 shutouts this season. The Knights blanked visiting Cortland, 3-0 (Feb. 8), to surpass the 11 shutouts Middlebury registered during the 2000-01 campaign.
 
HAPPY MEAL
Geneseo senior goalie Devin McDonald was voted the 2019 SUNYAC Goalie of the Year and a First-Team SUNYAC All-Star. He currently leads the nation with a 1.12 goals against average, which would be the third-best single-season mark in Division III history if the season ended today. McDonald also ranks third in the country with a .945 save percentage, which would rank 11th in Division III history. He has compiled a 22-1-2 record to move up to fifth in Division III history with a 69-13-13 career record while his 12 shutouts this season broke the previous record 10 compiled by St. Norbert's Kyle Jones in 2008. McDonald also tied the Division III record with four-straight shutouts this season while not allowing a goal for 258:49 over six games for the fourth-longest scoreless streak in Division III history. HIs 18 career shutouts rank fourth in D3 history.
 
PERFECT 10
Geneseo junior forward Conlan Keenan was tabbed the 2019 Herb Hammond Award winner as the SUNYAC Player of the Year. The nation's leading scorer with 1.84 points per game, Keenan is also tied for fourth with 0.88 goals per game and 13th with 0.96 assists per game. Held without a point in only three of his 25 appearances this winter, he is currently tied for fourth in Division III with 46 points, tied for fourth with 22 goals and tied for 17th with 24 assists. He recently moved into a tie for 20th in program history with his 120th-career point while his 63 goals are tied for 13th. Keenan has followed up a sophomore campaign punctuated with third-team All-America honors by repeating as a SUNYAC First-Team All-Star. He also landed second-team honors as a first-year on his way to SUNYAC Rookie of the Year recognition. Keenan is the sixth player in program history to win the Herb Hammond and first since Stephen Collins '17 won back-to-back honors in 2016 and 2017.
 
ALL LAGRONE UP
Geneseo senior defenseman Duggie Lagrone was voted a First-Team SUNYAC All-Star. Lagrone followed up third-team recognition a year ago after transferring from Division-I Colorado College by landing his second-straight all-league citation. Tied for fifth among Division III defenseman with 27 points and 1.04 points per game, his 20 assists are tied for 37th among all players.
 
MITCH-A-PALOOZA
Geneseo senior defenseman Mitch Ferguson was named a SUNYAC Second-Team All-Star this season. The top-scoring defenseman in Division III with 1.19 points per game, he is also tied for 34th with 32 points and tied for 21st with 23 assists. Transferring from Division I Vermont prior to the 2015-16 campaign, his final collegiate season has included SUNYAC Tournament MVP honors after notching two goals, including the game-winning, third-period tally with 5:05 left in regulation, in the Knights' 4-3 victory over Oswego in the championship game. 
 
ROMANO EMPIRE
Geneseo junior forward Andrew Romano leads the nation with 49 points, 40 assists and 1.48 assists per game while ranking second (behind teammate Conlan Keenan) with 1.81 points per game. Voted second-team All-SUNYAC for the first all-league honor of his collegiate career, he has scored at least one point in all but two of the Knights' games this winter, including a 16-game stretch that was the longest in Division III this season. Currently ranked 11th in Geneseo history with 88 assists and 24th with 112 career points, he was named to the SUNYAC All-Tournament Team after a two-assist outing opposite Oswego in the championship game that followed a one-goal/three-assist performance in the Knights' 5-2 semifinal win over Fredonia.
 
EMPEY HANDED
Geneseo junior forward Tyson Empey landed his second-straight SUNYAC Second-Team honor. Tied for 31st nationally with 14 goals and tied for 48th with 1.11 points per game, he is second in the country with 11 power play tallies. Empey notched a power-play goal as well as two assists in the Knights' SUNYAC Championship victory over Oswego to land a slot on the All-Tournament team. 
 
20-20 VISION
Only eight teams in the 44-year history of Geneseo men's ice hockey have accumulated at least 20 wins, including four in the last six years under head coach Chris Schultz: 
Season | Record | W%
2018-19 | 24-2-2 | .926
2017-18 | 20-5-3 | .719
2015-16 | 20-4-6 | .767 
2013-14 | 23-6-0 | .793 
1990-91 | 23-4-3 | .817 
1989-90 | 23-9-2 | .706 
1985-86 | 20-15-1 | .569 
1984-85 | 22-10-1 | .682
 
SCOUTING THE VALIANTS
Manhattanville clinched its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 after upsetting Utica in the finals of the Upstate Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Tournament. Playing a best-of-two championship format, the Valiants bounced back from a 5-2 loss in the opener to earn a 4-3 victory in the second game and set up a mini-game (full 20-minute period, followed by sudden-victory periods as needed) to decide the title. Senior forward Jeff Beck scored with under eight minutes remaining before senior forward Casper Dyrssen scored what proved to be the game-winning tally with under two minutes on the clock for the 2-1 victory and Manhattanville's first-ever conference title. The Valiants then defeated host UMass-Boston, 6-4, for their first NCAA win since 2007. Trailing, 4-3, in the third period, senior forward Matt Lippa scored two-straight goals to start a 3-0 run in the final six minutes of regulation to seal the victory. Voted the UCHC Co-Player of the Year, Lippa is currently third in Division III with 47 points, tied for seventh with 20 goals and tied for eighth with 27 assists. He is also second in program history with 117 career points, including a record 59 goals. Senior defensemen Oscar Arfelt and Marco Ferraro were both tabbed UCHC First-Team All-Stars and rank second and third on the squad in scoring with 33 and 29 points, respectively. Arfelt is also tied for eighth in the nation with 27 assists, while Ferraro is tied for 28th with 21 helpers.