Men’s hockey clinches sixth-straight playoff berth


Buffalo State Sports Information

Jake Rosen celebrates with his teammates after netting a game-winning, playoff-berth clinching goal on Friday.

Tony Callens, Associate Sports Editor

If you pass by the Buffalo State men’s hockey team’s locker room, you’ll probably hear a charged atmosphere, and often, hip-hop and rap music.

On Friday night, they were blaring and singing along to “My House” by Flo Rida.

It was appropriate, as the Bengals had just clinched a playoff berth and defended their home ice in a wild, emotional 3-2 overtime win last Friday against Geneseo.

In a game filled with drama, excitement and controversy, Geneseo assistant coach Len Perno appeared ready to fight the official when forward Jake Rosen knocked the puck in the back of the net 1:37 into overtime.

“Maybe he thought I was in the crease, or I kicked it in,” Rosen said.

The officials deliberated for a few minutes and let the call stand. Buffalo State was declared the winner and have now qualified for the playoffs. They beat the second-place Knights and are now climbing up the SUNYAC standings towards their goal of a second-place regular season finish with two games remaining.

A gleaming Rosen, who recorded three points over the weekend, recounted the winning play.

“Actually (Steve) Murphy drew it up at the timeout, and I asked him where I was supposed to be, and he told me ‘yeah you’re gonna be the one that gets it,’ so I have to give him the credit,” Rosen said. “It was good the puck was loose and I just kind of jammed it and it went in. It still hasn’t really sunk in, but hopefully it will later tonight.”

Friday was a busy night for forward Corey Gurski, who scored the second goal for the Bengals to take a 2-1 lead 17:59 into the second period. He then got into a skirmish near the end of the third. He has now scored in three of the last four games.

The win completed a season sweep of the Knights and was the type of win that can galvanize a team and give them confidence going forward. Buffalo State followed up the win the next night with a 7-3 drubbing of Brockport.

“A win like Friday’s boosts our confidence so much. We’ve got so much momentum going into the rest of the year,” Gurski said. “We were looking forward to this game. Anytime we play Geneseo, it’s a great game, so we’re just really happy that we won.”

Forward Taylor Pryce had a five-point night with two goals and three assists to lead the way for the Bengals.

“These wins can carry us a long way. I told the guys to enjoy it for a few minutes, but after that, it’s over and we have to prepare for Brockport, and they did a great job doing that,” head coach Steve Murphy said. “It’s easier for me to get over this emotion; it was already out of mind right away. We went and watched tape of Brockport and prepared right away, and the guys responded.”

The Bengals have matched a program record with 13 wins so far this season on the back of a four-game win streak and are poised to add to that total. They will finish up the regular season with a pair of home games against Oswego on Friday and against Cortland on Saturday. Both games will have a 7 p.m. face-off.

“We just need to work. Obviously, we will need a bit of help, but that’s out of our hands,” Murphy said. “If we just continue to win and continue to play like we did tonight, we’ll see what happens, hopefully someone knocks out (Geneseo) along the way. If not, then we’ll get third or fourth and we’ll keep going.”

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