GENESEO, N.Y. - Defending State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Champion Geneseo starts its title defense hosting Brockport in the SUNYAC Tournament Quarterfinals, Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m.
The Knights (16-6-3) earned the third seed after clinching victories in four of their final six conference games, including an 8-0 victory over visiting Potsdam last Saturday. First-year forward Conlan Keenan notched three goals for his second collegiate hat-trick and added an assist while senior forward Trevor Hills tacked on two goals and two assists to lead the offense.
Senior goalie Matt Leon, who was credited with 20 saves in 40 minutes of action to improve to 5-1 on the season, has only allowed one goal in Geneseo's last three games entering the postseason, including 26 saves in a 3-0 home win versus No. 12 Buffalo State (Feb. 11) for his first collegiate shutout.
Senior forward Stephen Collins is currently tied for second in Division III with 44 points and tied for third with 28 assists. Keenan is tied for second in the nation with 21 goals and tied for 23rd with 33 points while his eight power-play tallies are tied for the fifth-highest total in the country.
In last season's SUNYAC Tournament, third-seeded Geneseo defeated sixth-seeded Potsdam, 4-1, at home before defeating second-seeded Buffalo State, 6-1, and top-seeded Plattsburgh, 7-1, on the road to clinch the program's first conference crown since back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006.
Brockport (11-13-1) visits Wilson Ice Arena making its fourth-straight appearance in the SUNYAC Tournament. The Golden Eagles clinched the sixth seed following a pair of convincing conference victories at home on the final weekend of the regular season, defeating Potsdam, 8-3, Friday and No. 15 Plattsburgh, 8-4, Saturday.
Against the Bears, Brockport opened a 5-1 first-period lead, including two goals in the first 49 seconds of the contest, that proved to be the difference. First-year forward Connor Hutchins, who leads the Golden Eagles with 27 points and 12 goals, notched a hat-trick in the game while junior forward Dylan Shapiro added three assists.
Brockport then picked up its second win of the season over the Cardinals, making up a one-goal first-period deficit with five-unanswered tallies over a nine-minute span for a 5-1 lead at the 11:22 mark of the second. Shapiro was credited with two goals and two assists to lead the way.
First-year goalie Matt Schneider made 26 stops versus Potsdam and 27 opposite Plattsburgh. Sophomore forward Tim Kielich is tied for fourth in the SUNYAC with 23 assists.
Geneseo leads the all-time series between the two teams, 62-23-3, but it was the Golden Eagles knocking the host Knights out of the 2015 SUNYAC Tournament with a 6-4 quarterfinal win in the first postseason meeting in the now 40-year history of the rivalry.
A Geneseo win would set up a semifinal contest on Saturday (Feb. 25) at second-seeded Plattsburgh at 7:00 p.m., while a Brockport victory would yield the Golden Eagles a semifinal matchup at top-seeded Oswego on Saturday.