Defending CHC Champions, Morrisville State, to open season Friday

The defending Colonial Hockey Conference Champion, Morrisville State College women’s ice hockey team, enters the 2017-18 season with a new drive as they hit the ice for the season opener Friday night against Buffalo State College.

Morrisville State surprised opponents as they rolled to a 20-6-1 overall record a year ago, capturing the CHC league title in just their second year of existence as a program.

But with a solid foundation established for the past two seasons, and a top-notch work ethic and drive, the Mustangs are looking forward to seeing what the season will bring.

Thirteen return to the lineup this season, including junior defenseman Kaitlyn Schlake (Nampa, Id.) who has been selected to lead the Mustangs with the captain role. Sophomore Maddison Devlin (Campbell River, B.C.) will assist Schlake.

“Both Kaitlyn and Maddison have done a great job leading our program by example,” third-year head coach Melissa Lomanto stated. “They have helped to create an established culture with their experience and leadership.”

Schlake, a two-time All-Conference selection at defense, started all 27 games for the Mustangs on the blue line last season, racking up a league-leading eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points.

Devlin returns as one of the top scorers for the Mustangs, contributing 10 goals and 12 assists (22 points) to the team that outscored opponents on average 3.71 to 1.39.

“We’re excited about our returning players as they gained a lot of experience from a league championship last season,” Lomanto commented. “That experience has landed itself into assisting our freshmen in their transition to a new culture.”

“Our work ethic has been a strength of our program, and the addition of our incoming class has added more depth in the lineup this season.”

“Overall we are still a young program, but the biggest difference from last year to this season is that we will have a full roster of players that will contribute to our success,” Lomanto said.

With eight new faces to the lineup this season, Morrisville State is looking to capitalize on the new dynamic and depth that they provide.

“Our newcomers have transitioned well,” said Lomanto. “We look forward to seeing what they will add to our success this season.”

Morrisville State opens with a 7 p.m. home battle against Buffalo State on Friday, and face the visiting Bengals again on Saturday before opening league play on the road at Johnson and Wales University on November 3rd and 4th.
The Mustangs follow with a road battle at Salem State on the 10th and 11th, returning for a home-home with SUNY Potsdam.

A non-conference outing at Hamilton College on Nov. 21 will prepare the Mustangs for a post-Thanksgiving battle with visiting Concordia (Wisc.) on the 24th and 25th.

Morrisville State wraps up first semester action with three outings in December, the first two on their home ice on the 1st and 2nd against Franklin Pierce, before heading to cross town rival Utica College on the 9th.

The Mustangs resume the semester break on January 9th as they head to Middlebury, before hosting non-conference opponent Castleton on the 10th.

A final non-conference battle with Hamilton on the 16th will serve as the final preparation for Morrisville State for the remainder of their conference slate, as they take on SUNY Canton in a road battle on the 26th and 27th.

They welcome Becker College to the Mustang Valley on February 2nd and 3rd, before heading to Endicott College for a rematch of last year’s championship final on the 9th and 10th.

Morrisville State will wrap up the regular season schedule on the 16th and 17th, hosting CHC newcomer Nichols College.

“We are going to continue with our aggressive style of play and battle for picks all over the ice,” Lomanto commented.

“With so many playing key roles, we need to stay disciplined and committed to our systems, and grow one day at a time.”

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