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Hockey team, swimmers & divers at home
FREDONIA, N.Y. -- A pair of SUNYAC tests await the Fredonia State men's hockey team this weekend.
Across the hall in the Steele Hall Natatorium, Fredonia State's men's 200-yard medley relay team will have its sights set on lowering the team and pool record -- and could have some help in doing so.
The men's and women's cross country teams will look for faster times, too, during the NCAA Atlantic Regional meet, hosted by New York University, at Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx.
Here's a capsule look at each of those events:
MEN'S HOCKEY -- The Blue Devils (3-2-1, 1-1-0 SUNYAC) will get their first look at the Potsdam Bears (2-3-0, 1-2-0 SUNYAC) under the direction of first-year coach Aaron Saul. Game time is 7 p.m. Friday. "In past years," Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said, "Potsdam has been known as a team that is explosive offensively but if you made them play in their own defensive end, you could generate opportunities. Those days are gone with the arrival of Saul. He has his team working hard and playing disciplined defensively." On Saturday, the Plattsburgh Cardinals (5-0-0 overall and SUNYAC) make their annual visit to Steele. Ranked No. 5 in the nation, Plattsburgh is coming off road wins last weekend over Cortland and defending national champ Oswego. "They are getting excellent goaltending from their freshmen goalies," Meredith said of the Cardinal tandem of Simon LeBlanc and Bryan Hince. "Their power-play is lethal as well." Meredith said the key for his team this weekend will be to take care of the puck in the neutral zone. "It will be key for Potsdam and Platty," he said, "to both have to come 200 feet with five guys between them and our net in order to get to the goalie." Meanwhile, Blue Devil senior Neal Sheehan (Avon Lake, Ohio) will look to continue his climb up the all-time scoring list. He's 10th all-time with 112 points -- tied with Mike Lowe. Within immediate striking distance are Pat Bauman (114), Jim Pinti (116), and Matt Zeman (117).
SWIMMING & DIVING -- The Blue Devils play host to Alfred University at 6 p.m. Friday. It's a starting time which might enhance performances. "So often we train," head coach Arthur Wang said, "from 330 to 6 p.m. but compete during the early afternoons typically. It will be nice to swim at a time more similar to when we practice." He and Alfred head coach Brian Striker will be paying close attention to the men's 200-yard medley early in the meet. Each has pre-selected a quartet they fell will give them the best chance to crack the 1:40 mark. The Blue Devils' best time is a school and pool mark of 1:40.25, set last Saturday by Brent Davis (Albion), Al Palmquist (Olean), Brian Ruffles (Angola/Lake Shore), and Michael Seay (Grand Island). Alfred's best is 1:40.10. The meet starts with a women's relay, and does not include diving competition -- Alfred's program is swimming only.
CROSS COUNTRY -- The women's NCAA Atlantic Regional 6,000-meter race is 10:30 a.m. Saturday. The men's 8,000-meter race is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Results will be posted by mid-afternoon Saturday on the New York University athletics website.