(BUFFALO, N.Y.) – The Buffalo State men’s hockey team finished their season with a record of 18-8-1, after falling one game shy of the SUNYAC championship.
On Saturday (Feb. 25) the Bengals faced off against the Oswego Lakers in a SUNYAC semifinal matchup. The Lakers scored four goals in the third period and ended the Bengal’s season with a final score of 6-2.
With the off-season now in place, head coach Steve Murphy and his coaching staff have already started looking for ways to improve the team for next season.
Senior forward Jake Rosen, who will graduate in May, said he thinks the team has a bright future.
“I think we have a ton of guys that can do it,” Rosen said. “We got a lot of guys that are great hockey players and understand it and hopefully can just jell. I won’t be here so it will suck, but I think they have a lot of potential to be really good again.”
The Bengals will lose six seniors next year, including starting goaltender Mike DeLaVergne and forward Taylor Pryce, who is also a team captain.
However, more than two-thirds of the team will return next season, including promising freshman forward Anthony Passero who led the team in points and was tied for fourth in goals scored.
Also returning are freshman forward Zach Remers and junior forward Zach Zieminen who were tied for fourth on the team in points.
The Bengals are a combined 33-15-6 the past two seasons and for the first time in program history, the team has won 15 or more games in consecutive seasons.
“We’re just happy we can be a part of this program and I see nothing but good things moving forward,” said DeLaVergne.
Murphy and assistant coach Nick Therrien have already started recruiting for next seasom.
Jeffrey Ventura, assistant director of athletics, said recruiting is off to a strong start and he believes the program will continue to get better every year.
“Phone calls that didn’t used to get returned from certain level prospects are being returned now,” Venture said. “Coach Murph and Coach Therrien have had good success and they’re working really hard to bring in top-notch student athletes.”