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Men's hockey comes up short against Geneseo

by Alison Maurer-Advertising Manager
Wed, Feb 8th 2017 06:00 pm
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR

 Rivalry games are an especially intense match up for fans and players alike. For the men's ice hockey team, their rival also happens to be their travel partner, the SUNY Geneseo Knights.

This not only means that fans from both schools will be at every game, but also that it is the only game for the weekend, allowing players to double up on their energy to play a fast-paced and intense game.

"It's the best two days of the year. I love playing these guys, I love how our guys play them," Head Coach Brian Dickinson said. "There's just so much interaction between the players out on the ice. They're fun games to coach."

Last Friday, the tides didn't flow to Brockport's favor, the game ending in a 5-2 loss for the Golden Eagles. However, the rink was alight with passion from the first drop of the puck all the way to the final buzzer. Fans for both teams were crowding the stands, competing to be loudest as the game went on.

"It's a huge deal to have everyone out here supporting us in flocks,"  Jeremy DiFazio, an alumni of the team said. "Obviously you have the students, but you also have the community members, tri-county kids and their parents. It makes it really fun,"DiFazio graduated in 2016. An alternate captain, he has spent many hours in the locker room over the past few years, and has played in 8 rivalry games against Geneseo.

"Quite frankly, I don't like Geneseo much, I think it's important to have those rivalries. You work really hard for that all year. We've had good battles in the past, I think it comes with proximity and geography," Difazio said.

Geneseo has been the hockey team's main rival for a long time.

"They've been our rival since I got here. Most other sports, it's Cortland but we've had more success against Cortland and they don't get those same juices flowing," Dickinson said. "Your travel partner should be your rival. You exchange so much videotape and get to know the players. It makes for high intensity play."

Intense is a good word to describe the match-up. Despite the look of the scoreboard, both teams were playing equally well. The shot count was fairly even — 28-24 in Geneseo's favor and 8 penalties on each side. Geneseo is known as a D3 force around the country, and the Golden Eagles played on their level for a full 60 minutes.

"Rivalry means a game that's gonna be close no matter where the teams are in the standings," freshman Doc Gentzler said. "Geneseo's the sixth best team in the country and we showed that we can still play with them."

The men's hockey team love the passion of these games and it shows on the ice.  It's not just the coaches that feel the years of rivalry with Geneseo but the players can feel it as well.  It becomes a part of the atmosphere that makes the game mean so much more than any other exhibition.

"There's a little something extra to the game that's intangible," freshman Luke Bennett said, "You can't touch it, but you feel it when you come into the rink."

The student section was out in full force, cheering for the green and gold. The game had a lot of awareness, at least partially because of the team bringing donuts to the Student Union to pass out along with flyers advertising the game.

"The idea for tabling came from the boys. Nick Gullo lead the charge. They did a great job of getting out there, knowing that we had home basketball as well," Coach Dickinson said. "We were out there promoting the game and I think it worked."

Gullo is a popular player with the fans. When he gets a big hit, the crowd roars: "Gullo Smash! He's small but he's mighty."

"It's not about size, it's about showing how much more you want it over your opponent every night," Gullo said, "But it's great to hear about that kind of stuff. We see everyone in class, we see them on campus and to have their support really means a lot to us."

Although Brockport did not manage to take the win, the energy was still high after the game.

Difazio said it best: "I can't honestly say how proud I am of them. I speak for the alumni when I say that this team is really something."

The next home game is against Fredonia on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at Tuttle North Ice Arena.


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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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