NEWARK, Del. -- The SUNY Canton men’s ice hockey team saw their stellar season come to a close on Sunday as they lost to Stony Brook University 5-3 in a consolation game of the ACHA national tournament at Gold Arena in Newark, Del.
The 14th-seeded Roos got off to a good start against the No. 13 Seawolves when junior forward Rob Liggio (Canton, N.Y.) connected for his team-leading 26th goal of the season from linemates John Payne (Port Moody, B.C.) and Darren Camp (Canton, N.Y.) at the 3:38 mark. The three forwards lead the team in scoring and have combined to tally 67 goals this season.
Stony Brook responded with a three-goal run to end the opening stanza and take a 3-1 lead into the locker room.
The Roos, who out shot the Seawolves 52-25, bounced back in the second period and tied the game when freshman forward Doug Burns (Manchester, N.H.) and Camp scored less than a minute apart late in the period. Burns tallied his 13th goal of the year from Ryan Bercume (Potsdam, N.Y.) at the 14:36 mark and then Camp scored unassisted, his 24th goal of the year, at the 15:23 mark to knot the score at three apiece. It was Camp’s team-leading third unassisted score this year.
Liggio had a terrific opportunity to put the Roos on top a short time later when he gathered in a loose puck at center ice and got a few strides ahead of the defense. But Liggio’s breakaway attempt was denied by Stony Brook netminder Josh Brand, who finished with 49 saves.
The Seawolves added an insurance goal with 1:39 left in the game to cap off the scoring.
Senior goalie Jimmy Merrow (Plainsboro, N.J.) closed out his outstanding career with 20 saves. It was also the final game for senior forward Eric Cook (Cary, N.C.) and senior defenseman Garrett Rosenbaum (Charleston, S.C.). All three players have been regulars in the Roos’ lineup the past four years and have made numerous contributions to the ice hockey program and the athletic department.
The Roos end their year at 26-10 overall, and despite coming up just short at the national tournament, crafted another impressive season. SUNY Canton topped the 20-win plateau for the third straight year. They captured the Eastern Collegiate Hockey League regular season title for the second straight year with a 10-2 mark, which gave them a berth in the national tournament, and went on to win the ECHL tournament championship outscoring opponents 14-2 in two games. Camp was named the league’s Most Valuable Player and was joined on the all-ECHL First Team by Liggio and Merrow. Eric McCambly, in his fourth year leading the program, was named the ECHL Coach of the Year and three players were named to the ECHL all-Academic Team. The Roos had three players score at least 40 points and 10 players that recorded at least 20 points.
This year was also the final season the Roos will call the Canton Pavilion their home, as the Roos will play in their own home ice rink next year when the college opens their new $40 million convocation, athletic and recreation center this summer. The new facility will house an ice rink, a field house with a hard court for basketball and volleyball, a state-of-the art fitness center, a lap pool, offices for coaches and staff, classroom space, and a student-athlete study.