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Red-hot Geneseo eager to begin NCAA tournament

Local Sports

The hottest hockey team in Western New York is not the Amerks or some high school team.

It’s definitely not the Buffalo Sabres.

At 24-1-2, the Geneseo Knights are riding a wave not seen before in program history.

Last weekend, the Knights won their second consecutive SUNYAC title. They are currently ranked #2 in the country before they take on Manhattanville in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday.

“A team with a great culture is always going to go far, but when you have a team that is as skilled as ours that has a great culture, for me, there is nothing stopping us,” said head coach Chris Schultz. “We’re hoping to go into Saturday’s game and take care of business.”

Geneseo is currently riding a 22-game unbeaten streak (21-0-1) where they’ve outscored opponents 97-23. The Knights are in the NCAAs for the fourth time in six years, all under Schultz.

“It’s important to us to be close to each other and develop that bond off the ice and I think that translates right to the ice,” said junior forward Conlan Keenan. “We’re all messing around out there, pushing each other each day, and coming ready to work each day.”

With so many lopsided results this season, the Knights were encouraged they could handle a close game in the SUNYAC championship. The contest against Oswego was back-and-forth from the beginning, with the Knights trailing in the first period before Mitch Ferguson scored the go-ahead goal at 14:55 of the 3rd period.

“Oswego has played us tough every game this year,” said senior forward Joe Serpico. “We know what the battle is going to like moving forward, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Saturday’s game against Manhattanville will be the sixth time the two teams have squared off. The Knights are 1-3-1 all-time against the Valiants, with the last game being a 6-5 Geneseo loss in 2009.

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