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Men’s Hockey looking to continue with last year’s success

2018-2019 Buffalo State Men's Hockey Preview

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Men’s Hockey looking to continue with last year’s success

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Yomira Meregildo/The Record

Kyle Fallon, Sports Reporter

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The SUNY Buffalo State Men’s Hockey team had a successful season in 2017-2018 and are looking to go even further this year.

The Bengals finished with a record of 17-7-3 overall (9-4-3 SUNYAC) last season.

Head coach Steve Murphy is excited about the team going into 2019.

“I’ve enjoyed the players and teams we’ve had the past three seasons but I believe this team has the potential to be the best yet,” Murphy said. “It’s a closer group with guys who have the work ethic that our coaching staff is looking for. The guys understand what it’s going to take to get back to the playoffs this year and are ready to take action instead of just talking a big game. It’s nice to have an older group who knows our expectations and want to get on board with what we’re trying to accomplish.”

One of the team’s strong points last season came from their penalty kill where they killed 94 of 108 penalties. The team will be looking to continue this, with the strong depth they have in the league.

“We believe our depth is one of the best in the conference and we need everyone to contribute on the daily basis,” Murphy said. “All of these guys have gone through a lot of ups and a few downs over the past few seasons. They need to use their experiences to help us get back towards the top of the conference again this year.”

The team is losing a strong goaltender in Ian Sylves who posted a .928 save percentage and 2.01 goals against average last year. As of now, there isn’t a starting goaltender and its one of the biggest battles going on within the team.

“We have 3 very good goalies in returner Connor Minch and newcomers Trevor Micucci and Tyler Myers,” Murphy said. “This is one of the biggest battles going on and we will see who can separate themselves as the season goes on.”

Sophomore Vadim Vasjonkin will be the captain of this year’s team, with sophomore Cody Symonds and senior Mac Wood getting the assistant captains’ positions.

Although Murphy knows that it’s not just these three who will lead the team.

“There’s a lot of good veterans in our room this season who work hard every day and have a great voice within the team,” Murphy said. “Even though those three guys will wear the letters, it will be a committee that leads our team this season.”

Murphy is expecting significant production from freshman Andrew Husted, who will be centering one of the top two lines this season.

The Bengals are hoping to see a lot of his returning players to step up and contribute and build off of the success of last season.

“Some of our top players like Vadim Vasjonkin, Reid Bibb, Zach Remers and Mac Wood will obviously have to come through in the big games,” Murphy said. “Guys like Ben Butcher, Sam Maddox, Hugo Petit and Jon Colley have the ability to add much needed secondary scoring to our line-up. I’m excited to see Connor Zak, Cody Symonds and Colin O’Connor have big years on our blue line.”

 

The Bengals open up their season on Friday against Bryn Athyn at 7:00 p.m. at the Buffalo State Ice Arena. They begin SUNYAC conference play against Brockport on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. at home as well.

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Men’s Hockey looking to continue with last year’s success