Geneseo Hockey Heads to Final Four with ‘Hutch’ on their mind

Local Sports

Name a stat in Division III hockey and the Geneseo Knights are at the top.

“Number one in scoring offense. Number one in scoring defense. Number one in scoring margin. We have the least goals against and most goals for,” said head coach Chris Shultz.

The Knights currently own the second longest unbeaten streak in the county at 23 games. 

It’s been 130 days since they last skate off the ice after a loss.

“That is crazy to think about,” smiled senior Anthony Marra. “I never thought about it like that.”

“There are no words for it,” added junior forward Conlan Keenan.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like this. This is a special group. We got a lot of talented players,” said Andrew Romano.

“Goaltending, defense, the coaches, all our forwards. Everyone is kinda living in the moment,” said Keenan.

As the Knights prepare for their third trip to the Final Four in the last six season, they’re still thinking about the last time they went and the tragedy of losing a teammate.

On the morning of January 17th, 2016 senior defenseman Matt Hutchinson was found dead along with Geneseo women’s basketball player Kelsey Annese, victims of a double murder-suicide. Police say the killings were committed by an ex-boyfriend of Annese before he took his own life. The unthinkable tragedy is still felt to this day.

“It’s just something you keep in the back of your mind and every day it’s something you don’t forget,” said Marra.

Geneseo has never made it to a National Championship game.

“It’s bigger than us,” says Shultz “It’s bigger than the players on the ice, it’s bigger than the coaches this is about a community.”

“It’s really hard on a community, on an individual person, on a team. If we won a National Championship it would put a nice stamp on the end of that chapter,” added Marra.

“We’ve been through a lot as a community since 2016. There is nothing more intriguing to me to win a National Championship so that all the players that have worn our uniform can enjoy it. So our community can enjoy it too,” said an emotional Shultz.

Winning a National Championship won’t the fill hole left behind by the loss of Hutch, but it will leave a legacy and honor number 23. 

“I know he’s looking down on us and rooting for us.”

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