MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men's ice hockey team will hit the ice for first time in the 2017-18 season Friday night, opening with a 7 p.m. road battle at Manhattanville College.
Morrisville State returns 17 to its lineup this season, including junior Ian Wood (Pittsburgh, Pa.) who will be captaining the 24 person squad. Wood appeared in all 25 games for the Mustangs at forward a year ago, recording 10 points behind his six goals and four assists.
Senior Jon Lauer (Camillus, N.Y.) and CJ Stubbs (Pleasant Grove, Utah) join Wood as assistant captains. Lauer appeared in 22 games for the Mustangs at forward last season, registering four goals and three assists for seven points, two scores of which came on the power play.
Stubbs finished with 28 points for Morrisville State a year ago, offering a balanced offensive attack at his wing position to post 12 goals and assist another 16. The junior netted four power play scores across 25 games played.
With the loss of leading scorers and State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) All-Conference Jordan Carvalho and Joseph Santino to graduation, sixth year head coach Kevin Krogol will look to his experienced upperclassmen to continue their success as well as look for additional production from the sophomore and incoming classes.
"We will be a young team again this season, so it's important for our veterans to step up early and often to set the tone for the season," Krogol said.
"Although we had some key losses on offense, we feel that we will and can maintain our scoring power along with solid goaltending throughout the season."
Two familiar faces return to the Mustang lineup this season as a total three compete for the starting goaltending role.
Sophomores Jared Young (Pueblo West, Colo.) and Sal Stalteri (Woodbridge, Ont.) return to the netminder position, alongside transfer Kollyn Jones (Cazenovia, N.Y.) who saw time in net in prior seasons at SUNY Cortland.
Young appeared in 23 games for the Mustangs between the pipes, recording a 5-11-2 overall record while registering a .900 save percentage with 694 total stops on the year.
Stalteri saw time in four games, collecting a tie, while posting 48 saves for a .857 save percentage.
"The biggest challenge for us this season will be our commitment to team defense," Krogol stated.
"We will be young on the back end, but will look to senior Max Sund (Stockholm, SE) to set the example for the young guys with additional support from returners Brad Hefner (Billings, Mt.) and Dane Moore (Cadillac, Mich.).
Hennekens and Hautanen stand 6-4 and 6-2, respectively.
Several new faces will see time immediately for the Mustangs on the front line, including Patrcik Smith (Charlottetown, P.E.) who Krogol said will add to the Mustangs scoring power, while receiving additional depth and energy from newcomers Christian Vella (Rochester, N.Y.) and Nick Sacco (Welland, Ont.).
"The goal for us remains the same, as we have high expectations heading into the upcoming season," Krogol said. "We will work hard on and off the ice to be the best we can, to make playoffs and make a run at the SUNYAC title."
Morrisville State gets underway Friday at Manhattanville, before returning to their home ice on Saturday as they host Stevenson University in a 5 p.m. non-conference bout.
No time is wasted as the following weekend, the Mustangs are in the heat of SUNYAC competition against power SUNY Platttsburgh who was slated to finish second in the preseason coaches' poll for a double on the road in Plattsburgh.
Morrisville State heads down interstate 81 to SUNY Cortland for a double on the 10th and 11th, before returning back to their home ice against conference favored SUNY Geneseo on the 17th and 18th.
Non-conference outings with Chatham on the 21st, Salve Regina on the 24th, Johnson & Wales on the 25th and a double with SUNY Canton to start December, will lead the Mustangs into conference competition with Buffalo State on the 8th and 9th to wrap up the first semester of action.
They resume play on January 9 on the road at New England College, before returning home to face nearby rival Utica College on the 12th, a final tune-up for the Mustangs before resuming conference play.
Potsdam rolls into the Mustang Valley on Jan. 19th and 20th, followed by third pick preseason favorite, Oswego on the 26th and 27th.
February will bring four straight road games for the Mustangs, two at Brockport on the 2nd and 3rd, followed by two additional at Fredonia on the 16th and 17th.
"Our success this season will weigh heavily on our overall team commitment," Krogol commented.
For up to date men's hockey information visit the college's athletic web site at www.morrisvillestateathletics.com.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.