GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo junior forward Andrew Romano totaled a goal and two assists to lead the Knights past visiting Manhattanville, 8-2, in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Quarterfinals, Saturday, at Wilson Ice Arena.
Eight goal scorers pushed Geneseo (25-1-2) to its third "Frozen Four" in the last six years. The Knights will face Norwich (Vt.) on Friday (March 22) at the KB Willett Arena on the campus of UW-Stevens Point at 4:00 p.m. EDT with a berth in the national championship game on the line. Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Hobart also advanced in the night's other action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Manhattanville got on the board first after senior defenseman Marco Ferraro carried the puck into the Knights' zone and scored on a low wrist shot from the top of the slot that snuck in off the left post with 12:55 on the first-period clock.
- Geneseo answered just over a minute later with a power-play tally at 11:51. Junior forward Conlan Keenan tipped a loose puck toward the Valiants' net that slipped through a defenseman's skates, bringing goalie Tyler Feaver off his line. Keenan got to the puck first and dropped a pass to Romano, who scored inside an open left post to knot the score.
- The teams traded goals in the first 58 seconds of the second period. Junior forward David Szmyd cleaned up a Romano rebound on a right-wing rush for the Knights at 19:39 before Manhattanville capitalized on a failed clear following a faceoff in the Geneseo zone that resulted in a scoring wrist-shot by senior forward Matt Lippa at 19:02.
- The Knights re-took the lead on a tally by Keenan at 12:49. Smzyd skated the puck on the Manhattanville net, but was pushed into the crease by a Valiant defender. Romano collected the loose puck behind the net and fed Keenan in front for a right-post finish.
- The Knights scored two more times to finish the second period with a 5-2 lead. First-year forward Ryan Burnett dug a puck out of a crowd on the left boards to first-year forward Henry Cleghorn, who flipped a puck on net that slipped inside the left post at 5:34. Burnett then took a nice cross-ice feed from first-year forward Brendan Miller and scored on a right-wing rush with 1:43 on the clock.
- Geneseo put the game away with three unanswered goals in the third period. Senior forward Joe Serpico took a shot in the slot that popped up and over Feaver for a short finish by sophomore forward Dan Bosio with 6:47 remaining. Miller scored an empty-net goal with 3:05 on the clock before senior forward Anthony Marra completed one final rush off a short pass by junior forward Tyson Empey with 2:31 left in regulation.
- Geneseo improved to 14-0-1 at home this winter while out-scoring its opposition, 77-16, at Wilson Ice Arena.
- Senior goalie Devin McDonald totaled 20 saves to improve to 23-1-2 this winter and 70-13-13 for his career to become only the fifth player in Division III history to win 70 games.
- Romano surpassed Mike Roll '92 for 22nd place on the Knights' all-time scoring list with 115 points and into a three-way tie for ninth with 90 career assists. His 42 assists this winter are also the fifth-highest single season mark in program history.
Geneseo rides a 23-game unbeaten streak (22-0-1) into the national semifinals and will face Norwich for only the second time in program history. The Knights defeated the visiting Cadets, 3-2, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 NCAA Division III Tournament to advance to their first Frozen Four in program history.