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SUNYAC releases pre-season poll, Morrisville State ranked 6th

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) released its 2010-11 preseason men’s ice hockey coaches poll Thursday afternoon, ranking Morrisville State College sixth overall.

Oswego earned the top spot, followed by Plattsburgh, Geneseo, Fredonia, Potsdam, Morrisville, Brockport, Cortland and Buffalo State.

Morrisville State made a run in the post season last year, advancing to the semi-final round after upsetting third seed Fredonia in the quarterfinal round of the SUNYAC Championship Tournament. The Mustangs fell to top seed and eventual champion, Oswego, completing the season with a 9-17 overall record and a 5-11 campaign within the conference.

The 2010-11 schedule kicks off tomorrow as the Mustangs travel to Princeton University for an exhibition game against the NCAA Division I and ECAC Ivy League power. Regular season play begins October 29 on the road at non-conference rival and 2010 NCAA quarterfinalist, Elmira College.

A full slate of SUNYAC league play against traditional rivals, Brockport, Buffalo State, Cortland, Fredonia, Geneseo, Oswego, Potsdam and Plattsburgh compiles a majority of the Mustangs schedule. Non-conference matchups include powers Neumann College, Elmira, Manhattanville, Hobart, Castleton, St. Michaels College and New England College.

With 19 returning to the roster this season, and nine newcomers that are expected to contribute immediately, the coaching staff is expecting the Mustangs to make some “noise” this season and vie for another trip to the championship tournament.

Morrisville State returns three of their top scoring forwards from a year ago and look to improve on an offense that posted a 3.06 goals per game performance last season. Seniors Bobby Cass (Burlington, ONT) and Rob Sgarbossa (Campbellville, ONT) along with sophomore Matt Salmon (Orillia, ONT) combined for 26 goals and 23 assists in 2009-10, and return this season to lead a talented group of young forwards that bring a combination of speed, skill and ability to the forward line.

Defensively, senior Derek Matheson (Durham, ONT) is expected to anchor the solid and deep unit for the Mustangs, completing last season tied for fifth in the SUNYAC in scoring for defensemen. Junior Tom Longland (Dunnville, ONT) also returns to the blue line for Morrisville State and is also expected to contribute offensively as well. Three newcomers are expected to make an immediate impact with their physical presence on the ice.

Senior Caylin Relkoff (Grand Forks, BC) returns to anchor the defensive unit for a final time in net, after posting an impressive 719 save campaign last season. Three will compete with Relkoff for time in net, including senior Dave Labaff (Potsdam, NY), junior Matt Treadwell (King City, ONT) and newcomer Colin Breen (Waterloo, ONT).

The Mustangs open conference action the weekend of November 5th hosting Brockport and Geneseo.

Morrisville State College offers more than 80 bachelor and associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.