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​No. 3 Bonnies hoping to get back on track at AAU College Hockey National tourney

Mar 05, 2024

AAU hockey tournament logoNo one expected the regular season to end the way it did, especially after the way it started. But Coach Jordan Farnham is confident his team has what it takes to spit out the bitter taste and come home with a national title.

St. Bonaventure University (17-4-1), ranked No. 3 in the nation in AAU Division I, opens pool play vs. No. 14 Auburn at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the 16-team AAU College Hockey National Tournament at West Chester, Pennsylvania.

All tournament games can be livestreamed for free at Black Dog Hockey.

The Bonnies opened the season 15-0 before top-seeded Tampa traveled to Olean Dec. 2, thrashing SBU, 7-1, in “probably the worst game we played in five years,” Farnham said.

When they returned from the holiday break, the Bonnies only went 2-3-1, capped by a 5-3 loss Feb. 24 to the University at Buffalo in the Upstate New York Collegiate Hockey League semifinals.

“We’re not happy with the way we’ve performed the last few weeks, but I think the adversity will help us going forward,” Farnham said. “We had a really good weekend of practice and have responded well to that (UB) loss. I’ve seen a lot more hunger and drive in the guys than I’ve seen in a while.”

The grind of playing in the UNYCHL should serve the Bonnies well, he said.

“We play in the best (AAU) league in the nation and that’s backed up by the seedings in this tournament,” Farnham said. “Four of the six highest-seeded teams — us, Niagara, UB and Binghamton — are from UNYCHL. On any given day, anyone can beat anyone in this league.”

The same is true for pool play at the national tournament, Farnham said.

“The parity from 1 through 16 is much closer than it has been in the past,” he said. “Auburn has some really good players. If you let their goalie get into the game, he can be tough to beat.”

SBU plays No. 10 Quinnipiac at 4 p.m. Thursday and No. 6 Buffalo at 6 p.m. Friday to complete play in Pool C.

The team in each of the four pools with the most points — teams earn two points for a win and one for a tie — will advance to the semifinals Saturday night. The title game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.

The potential to play five games in five days is a challenge, but Farnham thinks the Bonnies have more depth through the lineup than ever to survive a long tourney run.

“We’re more evenly distributed than in the past so it’s not all on (Mason) Meggo and (Owen) Hughes,” Farnham said. “Michael Clouden (11 goals, 13 assists) has really stepped up on our second line to help give us more balance.”

The top line of Meggo, Hughes and Michael Robertson combined for 39 goals and 52 assists, but the Bonnies had five other players with seven or more goals.

The Bonnies had three goalies start five or more games, led by sophomore Kyle Karoleski (3.23 GAA in 11 games). Farnham plans to give Karoleski Thursday off to avoid the possibility of playing five straight days, but won’t determine his starter vs. Quinnipiac until Thursday.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).