Tradition continues

Blue Devils play in pink, dispose of Post, 15-1

Photo Courtesy of SUNY Fredonia Athletics Fredonia’s Gavin Nickerson (18) brings the puck up ice during the Blue Devils non-conference game against Post Saturday night at the Steele Hall Ice Arena. It was the annual “Pink the Rink” game for Fredonia, as money was raised for cancer research.

As has been the tradition with the annual Pink the Rink college hockey game at Steele Hall, the pink jerseys the Fredonia Blue Devils wore Saturday night were purchased in advance and the buyers dedicated the jersey to someone impacted by cancer by putting the name on the back.

For many of the players, they wore jerseys of individuals  they have never met.

But for Fredonia senior Mac McAvoy and freshman Brandon Spognardi, they wore a jersey in honor family members.

McAvoy donned a jersey in honor of his grandfather, Ken McAvoy Sr., who passed away in 2000 from cancer.

And after the Blue Devils’ 15-1 win over Post, in front of a standing-room only crowd, McAcoy gave the jersey to his father, Ken McAvoy Jr.

Photo Courtesy of SUNY Fredonia Athletics Fredonia’s Luke Rivera (23) fights for possession of the puck with Post’s Tyler Hackett, during their non-conference men’s hockey game on Saturday at the Steele Hall Field House.

Meanwhile, Spognardi was playing for his brother, Andrew John Spognardi, who attends Temple University.

“Andrew was just diagnosed with cancer toward the end of the summer,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “There are a lot of great stories.”

“This was one of he bigger ones,” Meredith said of the 10-year tradition. “What a great crowd. We sold all the jerseys and raised a lot of money for a great cause. It’s just such a big campus and community event. It gets bigger every year.”

As for the game itself, playing the entire 60 minutes was nearly a matter of formality as the Blue Devils held a 4-0 lead after just 4:10 of play. They led 6-0 after the first period and 9-0 after two periods.

“There is a lot of distractions so you try not to lose the game in the first period before you get settled in,” Meredith said. “That fast start helped.”

Jimmy Morgan, who had just four goals on the season entering Saturday’s contest, matched that with a four-goal output while Marcus Ortiz also had the hat trick. Morgan scored the game’s first two goals just 3:08 into the game.

“Those guys are guys you need them to be on the scoresheet (Friday) and next Friday night (at Potsdam).”

Freshman Jacob Haynes had five of the team’s 22 helpers while Samuel Wilber had four.

Also getting goals for Fredonia were Oskar Gerhardson, McAvoy, Kyle Jelinski, Max Blitz, Gavin Nickerson and Tommy DeFelice.

Fredonia is undefeated in its last five and now get ready for SUNYAC action Friday at Potsdam.

“That’s the good stuff,” Meredith said of conference play. “The guys get excited for that.”

Friday night raised an estimated $8,000, which brings the Pink The Rink total donation up to an estimated $75,000 since the event began. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society of Western New York, according to Fredonia.

“I have my eyes on $100,000,” Meredith said. “It would be amazing. It started really small and has really grown.”


Carlson, Bartlett take Trinity boards

TRINITY, Texas — Arron Carlson won the men’s 3-meter and Meghan Bartlett the women’s 1-meter for Fredonia during the Saturday session of the three-team Trinity Diving Invitational.

Carlson, a senior, improved to 18-0 this season with an 11-dive score of 555.15 points. It included a personal-best 222.05 points in the five-dive voluntary segment. In addition, freshman Christian Krasnek was fourth overall with an 11-dive score of 461.10, including a six-dive optional total of 267.15.

Bartlett, also a senior, led wire-to-wire while winning posting the second highest scores in Fredonia women’s diving history. She earned 296.35 points for six dives and 491.55 points for 11 dives. Only multiple All-American Sarah Ficarro has posted higher point totals among Blue Devil women.

Sam Kowalewski, a senior, finished fifth with an 11-dive mark of 433.15 points, a personal-best.  She scored 246.15 at the six-dive benchmark.

All four Blue Devils either improved upon or reached NCAA zone qualifying status over the weekend. Divers from Trinity University and Incarnate Word also competed at the two-day event.