Men’s hockey cruises past Morrisville State

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Men’s hockey cruises past Morrisville State

Senior Taylor Pryce recorded a goal on Saturday in a win over Potsdam.

Senior Taylor Pryce recorded a goal on Saturday in a win over Potsdam.

Dave Deluca

Senior Taylor Pryce recorded a goal on Saturday in a win over Potsdam.

Dave Deluca

Dave Deluca

Senior Taylor Pryce recorded a goal on Saturday in a win over Potsdam.

Tony Callens, Associate Sports Editor

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Keeping focus and staying the course is the name of the game for the Buffalo State men’s hockey team.

“We shouldn’t adjust anything in our approach depending on our opponent. It should be automatic (getting ready to play). No games are a given,” head coach Steve Murphy said.

That’s part of the process for this team. Keeping their eye on their goals and not letting up against any opponent is what has bred success for the Bengals this season.

This philosophy guided the team this past weekend with a pair of wins over the last place Morrisville State Mustangs.

On Friday night, Buffalo State earned a 4-0 victory on the back of a big second period.

Goaltender Mike DeLaVergne came up big with 26 saves in his second shutout of the season.

“You just have to play the same hockey regardless of the team you’re facing in this conference, because anybody can beat anybody,” he said. “It’s important to just bring the best effort every day and we did that this weekend and it resulted in us getting four points.”

Freshman forward Zach Nieminen started things off for Buffalo State with a breakaway goal in the first period for his fourth on the season and the Bengals never looked back.

Forwards Corey Gurski and Jake Rosen added a pair to put the score out of reach. Anthony Beaumont added an empty netter to cap the scoring for the night.

“We needed to stick to our systems and just play. We don’t think about who we’re playing that much; I know I don’t. It’s important to just play our game and we did that this weekend,” Rosen said.

More of the same came the next night at Morrisville where Buffalo State paced the Mustangs for a 5-1 victory.

Once again, the Bengals jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second period with goals from Ryan Hunter, Gurski and Rosen.

The Mustangs finally got on the board with a power play goal at the end of the period, but the Bengals erased any doubt with a pair of goals in the third period.

DeLaVergne tallied 22 saves for Buffalo State and has maintained a .933 save percentage.

“I felt like we felt these games were automatic at times, and that’s what I got on the guys about between periods and after the games. If we want to be a championship team, all of the little things, all of our habits need to be automatic. Yeah, we won the games and got what we wanted, but we will need to up the intensity going forward,” Murphy said.

The players are satisfied with their play and getting two blowout wins. Murphy is unsatisfied and wants to strive for perfection.

The team will need to get on the same page if they want to reach their goal of finishing the regular season in second place in the SUNYAC conference.

The Bengals have four games left in the regular season and sit in fourth in the conference. To attempt to vault themselves into second like they want, they’ll have to win the remainder of their games.

The team will set their sights on second place Geneseo this Friday at the Buffalo State Ice Arena. They will finish the weekend with a game at Brockport.

“We’ll need to do the little things. Stopping pucks, being more aggressive on the forecheck and playing with intensity. If we do that, then we’ll reach our goals,” DeLaVergne said.

email: tcallens.record@outlook,com

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