Anthoine, a Lewiston native, had an assist and played a key role in SUNY-Geneseo’s penalty kill as the sixth-ranked Knights defeated Bowdoin, 7-4, at Watson Arena on Saturday at the Bowdoin/Colby Faceoff Classic.

It was the first game played in Maine by Anthoine, a senior forward, since the Knights played in the NCAA Division III national semifinal at Androscoggin Bank Colisee when he was a freshman in 2014. SUNY-Geneseo lost to St. Norbert in that game, 6-2.  

“It definitely didn’t go as well as this, so I’m happy,” he said.

Conlan Keenan led the Knights (5-1-1) with two goals and an assist. Cody Tedesco notched a hat trick for the Polar Bears (2-2-0).

At first, it didn’t appear Anthoine would be enjoying his second return home, either. He started at left wing and was on the ice when Tedesco scored the game’s first goal 45 seconds after the opening faceoff.

But the Knights’ Trevor Hills answered 21 seconds later with the first of his two goals to put SUNY-Geneseo back in the driver’s seat. Despite being outshot, 15-7, in the first period, the Knights held a 3-2 lead at intermission.


“We kind of came out a little flat,” Anthoine said. “It was quite a bus trip up here, about 10 hours, so we definitely had a little bus legs going. But we found a way to battle through it and come out of that period leading, which was huge.”

Anthoine had a hand in them securing that lead. After Andrew Romano gave the Knights a 2-1 lead at 6:29, Anthoine set up the third goal by putting a shot on net that deflected off teammate RJ Burns’ stick and past Bowdoin goalie Peter Cronin.

“It was a nice little play by my linemate, Empey. He went hard on a forecheck and the puck popped out to me,” Anthoine said. “I won a battle and I honestly just threw it at the net because I thought that was the only play I had. It hit off my linemate’s skate, so I got a little lucky. I’ll take that any day of the week.”

Camil Blanchet pulled the Bears back within a goal with 1:21 left in the period when he tipped home a rebound to the left of Knights goalie Devin McDonald (30 saves).

“The first period was a pretty good road period,” SUNY-Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best but we came out with a lead. When you’re playing a good team and you come out with a lead after not playing your best, you’re happy. We knew we’d get better as the game went on.”

SUNY-Geneseo tightened up defensively from the second period on, particularly on the penalty kill. It limited Bowdoin to 1-for-7 on the power play, with the only goal coming two men down in the third period.


The Knights, meanwhile, converted two of six power plays.

“We were prepared for these guys. We knew what they were going to do, which helps us,” Anthoine said. “Our power play, I mean, we have some of the most skilled players in the country, so that’s going to be there for us every night. But when our PK produces, that’s when it’s easy for us to have a big win.”

SUNY-Geneseo pulled away with the next three goals — a second-period strike on the power play by Conlan Keenan and third-period goals by Hills (power play) and Devin Brink that came eight seconds apart.

Bowdoin first-year coach Jamie Dumont, another Lewiston native, said the Polar Bears weren’t as crisp as they need to be against the Knights.

“It was a tough game,” Dumont said. “They’re a little more seasoned in their game now. I think they’re nine or 10 games into it, but they’re a good hockey club and they know how to pounce on mistakes. That’a team you have to be really sharp with the puck and away from the puck or they’ll make you pay, and they made us pay.’

SUNY-Geneseo has made everyone pay this season, boasting the second most prolific offense in Division III at 6.29 goals per game. After tallying five goals last season, Anthoine has yet to find the back of the net this year. But that isn’t his role for the Knights.


“He’s one of our most responsible hockey players,” Schultz said. “He understands the game and knows the game well. He’s the first guy on our forecheck but he’s also the first guy getting back to keep pucks out of our net. When you have a two-way player like Connor, you have to take advantage of him in all situations, 5-on-5, 5-on-4 especially. He’s a great penalty killer.”

With a talented freshman class led by Keenan, who is tied for second in the nation with seven goals, Schultz asked Anthoine to adapt and become more of a two-way forward, and he has embraced his new role.

“I’m just here to help the team win any way I can. If that’s what I have to do, then I’ll do it with no problem,” Anthoine said. “The role is overlooked by a lot of people, as most people who know hockey know. I might not make the headlines, but I might have a big blocked shot, and those guys will let me know. That’s more important to me than anything.”

Anthoine isn’t sure what he’ll do after graduating with a degree in geography in the spring, but another, more permanent homecoming may be in the works.

“I don’t know if professional hockey is for me but I’m definitely interested in coaching,” Anthoine said. “I’ve been around the game long enough. I plan on coming back home and maybe try to start coaching somewhere.”

“It’s definitely a little bittersweet being my senior year,”  he added. “I’m seeing where my options are and trying to enjoy the rest of the season, focus game by game and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Anthoine’s family and friends will get one more chance to see him play in his home state on Sunday, when the Knights play at Colby at 4 p.m. It will have a ways to go to top Saturday, though.

 “It’s weird. My dad (Mark Sr.) actually played basketball here, so it’s a little bit of a blast from the past for me and definitely for him, too,” Anthoine said. “It’s been so much fun being here already. It’s my favorite place in the world, so I usually never want to leave. I get lucky enough to come back every once in a while.”

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