Two players from the Fredonia hockey team made the list for third team All-Conference as voted on by the coaches. Junior center Samuel Wilbur and sophomore goalie Eric Bogart both made the list after having good individual stats in a season that saw the team go 13-11-2 and play in the SUNYAC tournament for the first time in three years.
When discussing the two, Coach Meredith said he was proud of his players’ accomplishments.
“I am happy for both Eric and Sam. That they were recognized by the SUNYAC ice hockey coaches as all-conference selections. It is a tribute to all the hard work that they have put in and to their teammates who work beside them every day,” said Meredith.
Wilbur, in 25 games, led the team with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists,) the most by a Fredonia player in five years. He also had four power play goals and three game-winning goals, which led the team. Against conference opponents he had eight goals and 11 assists, and was a main reason why the Blue Devils made it back to the playoffs this year. Wilbur attributed his success this season to hard work. It wasn’t a goal of his to make the all-conference team but he is honored to be selected. In terms of repeating his success next season, Wilbur sounded focused on next season.
“I will be having another hard working off-season on and off the ice. I can’t wait for our team to hit the ice next year,” he said. Bogart started 19 of 26 games and had a 9-8-1 record with one shutout and a 2.63 goals against average this season. His 621 saves are ninth-all-time in Blue Devils single-season history. Over 19 games that averaged out to 32.68 saves per game, which is a school record. His 92.8 save percentage was also a school record, and his emergence was a pleasant surprise for Fredonia this year.
Bogart says he was surprised to make the all-conference team, but he achieved his goals he set for himself at the start of the season.
“Initially I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting anything at all, then afterwards it was nice to be recognized by the league for all the hard work that was put in. Personally, I set some goals with our goaltending coach which was to play 90 percent of league games, have a save percentage about .920 and a GAA below 3.00,” said Bogart.
Consistency was also huge with Bogart, as he said he would skate every Monday and Tuesday morning with Coach Michael Lysyj for 45 minutes while working on goalie drills and situational drills. When he was called upon, those early workouts paid off.
“Hockey is a game of momentum and rhythm, and once I knew that both coaches had put their faith in me to carry the load for the season, it’s actually easier to get into a rhythm of consistency as going into each weekend I knew I was going to be called upon to play,” said Bogart.
He was proud of the progression from the team this year, and stated that this season will help the young Blue Devils grow in the future.
“We are an extremely young team derived mostly from sophomores and freshmen, which means there is going to be a lot of growing pains throughout the season. Despite the growing pains, we were able to find success and earn a spot in the playoffs which is great experience for the boys moving forward, as next time around we will handle it with a little more confidence as we have already been in that situation,” Bogart added.