The Fredonia State men's hockey team still has its sights set on a SUNYAC playoff berth.
The Blue Devils are currently seventh in the SUNYAC standings with five games remaining, beginning with games tonight and Saturday vs. the Potsdam Bears and Plattsburgh Cardinals, respectively, at the Steele Hall Ice Arena.
Game times are 7 p.m. both nights.
The SUNYAC regular-season pecking order has been divided into two parts. Oswego, Geneseo and Plattsburgh have 20, 19 and 17 points, respectively, and have pulled away from the rest of the pack. Buffalo State and Brockport are tied for fourth with nine points each. Morrisville is next with eight points, followed by the Blue Devils with seven, Potsdam with six, and Cortland with five.
In short, three playoff spots are still up for grabs among six teams. The top six teams qualify for the SUNYAC Tournament.
"You never want to get so far backed into a corner," Fredonia State head coach Jeff Meredith said, "that you deem a game as a must-win, but that pretty much sums up what we have to do against Potsdam."
The Blue Devils defeated the Bears, 3-1, when the teams met Nov. 9 in Potsdam. On Nov. 10 in Plattsburgh, the Blue Devils came out on the short end, 5-0. The Cardinals are ranked No. 9 in NCAA Division III by USCHO.com and take a four-game win streak into tonight's game at Buffalo State.
Tonight marks Fredonia State's first home game since Jan. 5 - a 2-2 tie with New England College - and the first of four straight home games over the next two weekends. The Blue Devils play their annual Pink The Rink game Friday, Feb. 8, vs. Cortland, before playing their final home game Feb. 9 vs. Oswego.
Meredith said Pink The Rink jerseys are still available for purchase. Cost is $250 and the buyer chooses the name to be placed on the back of the jersey. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.
People wishing to buy a jersey or make a donation are asked to contact Coach Meredith via e-mail (Meredith@fredonia.edu).
Tonight's game will also coincide with Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day. Members of all Fredonia State's teams - including the five in action Friday night - have put together a guest list from among the professors and other campus staff who accepted invitations to a reception from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Bob Steele Multi-Purpose Room. Light refreshments will be served.
Clark has been Blue Devil bright spot
Through what's been a difficult men's basketball season so far, Fredonia State junior guard-forward Tyrone Clark has been a bright spot.
A transfer from Tompkins-Cortland Community College, Clark leads his team in six key offensive categories. He's first in scoring at 12.4 points per game. He's also the top rebounder with 84 total, and first among active players with 4.9 rebounds per game.
Clark is first in total assists with 49, first in blocked shots with 18, and first in steals with 35.
Senior guard-forward Amir Billups leads the Blue Devils in three-point baskets with 36 and three-point shooting accuracy (48.6 percent). Senior guard Dalton Kashmer (South Dayton/Pine Valley) has made the most frequent trips to the foul line, where he's 52 of 70 (74.3 percent).
The Blue Devils take a 2-9 SUNYAC record into tonigh's home game vs. SUNYAC-leading Cortland. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Fredonia State is also home 4 p.m. Saturday vs. Oswego.
On Saturday, the annual men's basketball alumni game will be played in the Dods Hall gym beginning at noon.
Hebert, Warren lead SUNYAC in stat categories
Two Fredonia State players are SUNYAC women's basketball statistical leaders heading into weekend action at Steele Hall.
Junior guard Becky Hebert continues to lead SUNYAC in scoring with an average of 20.1 points per game. That also places her at No. 14 in all of NCAA Division III.
Hebert has a chance this weekend to become Fredonia State women basketball's seventh 1,000-point scorer. She'll enter tonight's game vs. Cortland - game time is 6 p.m. - with 975 career points.
The Blue Devils are also at home Saturday afternoon against Oswego, with a 2 p.m. tipoff.
Hebert is also second in free-throw accuracy (89 of 108, 82.9 percent) and third in field-goal accuracy (117 of 264, 44.3 percent) while logging an average of 33.7 minutes per game, second most in SUNYAC.
Junior forward Jaimie Warren is the other SUNYAC leader. Named SUNYAC Player of the Week on Monday, Warren is first in free-throw accuracy. She has made 52 of 62 attempts, a success rate of 83.9 percent. She is also fifth in scoring average (13.2), fourth in rebounding average (8.0), fourth in minutes played per game (32.6), and fifth in steals per game (2.2).
Junior guard Nikole Lindquist (Cherry Creek) is averaging 2.6 steals, fourth most in the SUNYAC.
Yet the two numbers that matter most tonight are five and six. They represent the SUNYAC records - five wins and six losses - for both Fredonia State and Cortland. The Blue Devils and Red Dragons are part of a four-way tie for fifth place, along with Oneonta and Plattsburgh, with seven conference games remaining for all four. The top six teams make the conference tournament.
Saturday is the third annual National Girls & Women In Sports celebration at Fredonia State. T-shirts have been printed and will be distributed until the supply is exhausted, items donated by several professional teams will be raffled off, and a local schoolgirl basketball team will play a mini-game at halftime of the women's game.
In addition, the Fredonia State women's basketball alumni game will be held at noon Saturday in the Dods Hall gym.