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College Power 10: Buffalo State hockey ranked 10th in nation

The Buffalo State hockey team ranks 10th in the nation in the latest D3hockey.com poll. That’s the highest ranking in program history. The Bengals lead this week’s College Power 10.

1. Buffalo State men's hockey. The Bengals’ surge in the rankings came after a 4-1 upset victory over fourth-ranked Geneseo Saturday. Buffalo State lost to Geneseo, 6-1, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference semifinals last season.

Zach Nieminen, a junior forward from Ajax, Ont., scored two goals against Geneseo. Senior goalie Mike DeLaVergne, from the Poughkeepsie area, made 27 saves. Anthony Passero, a freshman from Fort Erie, Ont., had a goal and an assist. Buffalo State (8-2-1) plays host to Cortland (4-5-1) at 7 p.m. Friday then hosts No. 1-ranked Oswego (9-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

2. UB women’s basketball. The Bulls improved to 7-0 with wins over Central Florida and Hofstra last week. UB visits Canisius at 7 p.m. Thursday. On the horizon: Ohio, UB’s arch rival in the Mid-American Conference and the favorite to beat out UB in the East Division, stands 6-0. The Bulls visit Ohio on Jan. 4.

3. St. Bona men’s basketball. The Bonnies (5-2) scored good wins last week over Siena and UB. Junior point guard Jaylen Adams was named A-10 co-player of the week along with LaSalle’s B.J. Johnson. Adams averaged 28 points, 6.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the two wins.

4. Daemen women’s volleyball. The Wildcats saw their great season end in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Division II Tournament with a five-set loss to American International. Daemen had beaten Post and New Haven to get to the regional final. The Wildcats lost the first two sets to AIC but rallied to win the next two, 28-26 and 25-20. AIC won the fifth, 25-15, to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Daemen graduates only two players, Amber Drzymala (St. Mary’s of Lancaster) and Alicia Contreras. Drzymala became just the third player in team history to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. She posted a career-best 379 kills this season and made first-team all-region. Daemen will return East Coast Conference player of the year Ashley Drzymala, a sophomore from St. Mary’s of Lancaster, and ECC rookie of the year Bailey Dolegowski, a freshman from St. Mary’s of Lancaster.

5. UB’s Russell Cicerone and Erie CC’s Abbey Lombard. The two soccer stars earned more honors. Cicerone was named first-team all-Great Lakes Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. There are eight regions and 203 teams at the Division I level. Cicerone ranked seventh in the nation with 14 goals in 19 games. Lombard, the freshman from Lancaster, became the first Kats women’s soccer to player to earn first-team All-American honors. She’s one of only three freshmen on the 11-woman National Junior College Athletic Association Division III team. Lombard scored 36 goals and 13 assists.

6. Niagara men’s basketball. The Purple Eagles sent a shock wave through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 74-58 upset of Iona in New Rochelle. Iona (4-3) is the defending MAAC champion and unveiled its championship banner before the game. The Gaels were picked third in preseason. Niagara (2-6) was picked 11th out of 11. It was Niagara’s first win at Iona in eight seasons and just Iona’s third loss in its last 27 home games. Niagara never trailed in the second half. Niagara held Iona to 34 percent shooting and won the rebounds, 44-34.

7. Canisius’ Ryan Schmelzer. The junior forward from Buffalo scored five points to help the hockey Griffs to a win and a tie against Bentley. He was named Atlantic Hockey Conference player of the week. Canisius (6-8-3) now has four wins and two ties vs. teams picked ahead of it in the AHC.

8. Erie CC men’s hockey. The Kats (10-2-1) are ranked No. 1 in the nation in the first NJCAA poll. Erie got one more point in the voting than Dakota College at Bottineau, which beat Erie in the national championship game last season. Freshman Brendan McFall of Hamburg leads the Kats with 14 goals in 12 games. Anthony Cybulski of Cheektowaga has 10 goals.

9. Niagara CCC women’s basketball. The Thunderwolves improved to 9-0 with a 111-63 rout of Pitt-Titusville. NCCC is averaging 87.6 points a game.

10. Erie CC men’s basketball. The Kats improved to 7-1 with an 81-56 win over Niagara College.

Email: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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