One more trip, then Devils come home
Sports Information Department – 112 Dods Hall
Phone (716) 673-3100 / Fax (716) 673-3136
CONTACT: Jerry Reilly,
Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- It only seems the Fredonia State hockey team has been on the road since the start of 2008-09 season. In truth, the Blue Devils will have played 12 of their first 15 games away from Steele Hall after completing a two-game series this week at Wentworth College.
The road trip to Boston, Mass., for games vs. Wentworth 8 p.m. Thursday and 2:15 p.m. Friday will open the second half of the Blue Devil season. And while his team has some catching up to do, head coach Jeff Meredith feels the team should benefit from more frequent appearances at the Steele Hall Ice Arena. Eight of the final 11 regular-season games are on home ice.
After returning from Boston, the Blue Devils (4-6-3, 2-4-2 SUNYAC) play a much-awaited date vs. USA Hockey's Under-18 team next Tuesday (Jan. 13). Other second-semester visitors to Steele Hall are Manhattanville (Jan. 16 and 17), Plattsburgh (Jan. 23), Potsdam (Jan. 24), Buffalo State (Feb. 7), Brockport (Feb. 20), and Geneseo (Feb. 21).
All but Manhattanville are SUNYAC opponents and three are nationally ranked -- No. 1 Plattsburgh, No. 14 Manhattnville, and No. 15 Geneseo -- in the most recent USCHO.com poll. The Blue Devils also have a Jan. 30 road game at No. 11 Oswego.
"The good news," Meredith said, "is that we survived (the first semester), and that pretty much the rest of the way, we are in the warm confines of Steele Hall. Looking at the SUNYAC standings, we are tied for sixth place, but that is deceiving because we are only two points out of fourth place. We weathered some injuries to key players in the first half and now they are healed and healthy again."
The Blue Devils are led in scoring by junior forwards Jeff Aonso (Toronto, Ont.) and James Muscatello (Baldwinsville) with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Muscatello's seven goals are tops on the team, four more than Aonso and two other teammates. Defensively, junior goalkeeper Pat Street (Annapolis, Md.) had posted a deceiving 2-5-3 record with a 2.91 goals-against average. Street has already been called on to make 340 saves in 10 games and has stopped 94.2 percent of the shots he's faced.
Two sophomore forwards have been added to the roster. Andrew Hess (Bowling Green, Ohio) had seven goals and six assists in 27 games as a freshman but sat out the first semester to concentrate on his academics. David Ridos (Hamilton, Ont.) transfers in from Lake Forest College, where he scored four goals in 13 games last semester.
"Dave will add some depth, speed, and grit to our group," Meredith said. "He has the potential to be a fan favorite with his physical play. ... (and) at 6' 6" and 230 pounds, it will good to have Andrew back in action."