It’s a wrestling bout sometimes between swallowing a season-ending defeat and looking at the big picture. Nine seniors played their final collegiate hockey game Saturday at Geneseo, which defeated Buffalo State 2-0 in the semifinals of the SUNYAC playoffs.
The seniors made history last season — hosting a playoff game for the first time in program history and advancing to the SUNYAC semifinals for the first time. They followed it up this season with more of the same.
“It’s disappointing for a large senior class to not bring a SUNYAC championship to Buffalo State, its disappointing and saddening,” Carr said. “But, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. We know that we gave our all to program and we’re excited to see what the program can do from now on.”
No. 8-ranked and top-seeded Geneseo used two second-period goals scored in a two-minute span to oust the Bengals from the playoffs. Buffalo State would be given a golden opportunity with a five-on-three power play after Geneseo was called for 5-minute major penalty and then a two-minute minor, but they could not convert.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get any offense on our power play,” said Carr, who made 45 saves in the loss. “For some reason, it just wasn’t working. When you have a seven minute span of a power play you’d like to think you get at least one goal.”
Buffalo State fired 12 shots in the third period but couldn’t get one past the Geneseo goalie.
The Bengals advanced to the semifinals by tying their season-high in goals in a 7-2 rout of Brockport on Feb. 26. Buffalo State had a commanding 4-0 lead in the second period, but Brockport cut it in half with a pair of goals just 1:11 apart to make it 4-2. That’s when Buffalo State would take control with three unanswered goals in just a two-minute span.
“Once we gave up those two goals, we knew we had to settle down and get back to our game,” said Nick Berst, who had two goals on the night. “Right after we did that, we just executed our system, playing as a team, and played our style. We knew what we needed to do to keep the lead, and we kept it.”
Jake Rosen made it 5-1 when he received a cross-ice feed from Brett Hope and ripped it into the Brockport net. Billy Strakosch scored a minute later. Then. Ben Kramer scored 36 seconds later to make it 7-2.
“As coaches, sometimes we talk about just making sure you shoot pucks and get pucks to the net,” head coach Nick Carriere said. “Good guys make passes and score on those plays and execute. I thought we played with a lot of speed. I thought we played a physical game. I thought we played a systematic game as well.”
Buffalo State finished the season 10-12-5 and 6-6-4 in SUNYAC play.
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