Men’s hockey looks to take over in 2018

“We are not here to take part, we are here to take over.”

It’s one of MMA wrestler ‘the Notorious’ Connor McGregor’s quotes and the attitude that he has when he takes the ring.

It’s also the attitude the Buffalo State men’s hockey team wants to have when it takes the ice.

“We need to force teams to play our style and our way,” Buffalo State men’s hockey head coach Steve Murphy said. “We will take over games and not look back.”

Murphy expects each player to stick to their responsibility because when you do other things you get in trouble.

The Bengals are looking to continue and improve on last year’s 18-win record-breaking season that ended with a 6-2 loss to Oswego in the SUNYAC semifinals.

Buffalo State will have a challenging time replacing Taylor Pryce, Jake Rosen and third-team All-American goalie Mike DeLaVergne.

However, Murphy isn’t preoccupied with worrying about players that aren’t returning from last season because it is the nature of college hockey to lose players and acquire new ones each season.

Murphy is looking for freshman Vadim Vasjonkin and Reid Bibb to bring that takeover mentality to the Bengals. They both previously played for the Philadelphia Flyers in the United States Premier Hockey League.

Buffalo State also has some great talent returning from last season, in forward Anthony Passero and defenseman Brody Power.

Passero led the team in scoring last year with nine goals and 29 points.

Power has a calming presence on the backside of play. He racked up 16 points last season and only had four minutes in penalties.

Freshmen Connor Zak and Paul Cerda are excited for this season.

“I expect to win a SUNY championship and for us to be ready for the tournament,” Zak explained.

Cerda added, “I expect us to win every game and to be ready for the tournament team to compete for a win.”

The Bengals are currently 3-1-1 overall and 0-1-1 in SUNYAC play. They will be back in action this weekend. Friday night at Oswego and Saturday night at Cortland. Both games with a 7 p.m. faceoff.