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Ice hockey dominates early in season

by Lou Venditti
Tue, Oct 31st 2017 10:00 pm
Freshman forward Danny Rock (above) exchanges words with a Neumann  College defender after a shove.  Rock scored the opening goal against Neumann on Senior Night. The team is currently undefeated, sitting on two wins. The team is looking to continue its winning streak this weekend.
Freshman forward Danny Rock (above) exchanges words with a Neumann College defender after a shove. Rock scored the opening goal against Neumann on Senior Night. The team is currently undefeated, sitting on two wins. The team is looking to continue its winning streak this weekend.

The College at Brockport men’s hockey team took care of business, winning its first two games of the season this past weekend.

The Golden Eagles took to the road, traveling to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania to face off against King’s College. It was the first game for the King’s College hockey program, which is headed by former Brockport Assistant Coach Stephen Mallaro. The Golden Eagles rolled to an easy 6–2 victory on the back of a strong performance from goaltender Jake Moore, as well as three point nights from both sophomore center Connor Hutchins and freshman defenseman Casey Winn.

The Golden Eagles returned home to play Neumann College for Senior Night. Before the game, nine seniors were honored, including team captain Aidan Verbeke and alternate captain Dylan Shapiro. 

The Golden Eagles started the game strong with an early goal from freshman winger Danny Rock, scored off the rebound of a Shapiro shot. Verbeke scored his first goal of the season on a lone power play goal for the Golden Eagles. Hutchins and senior winger Zac Sikich added goals going up to 4–0 before Joe Mitchell scored a garbage time goal for Neumann. Brockport won on Senior Night 4–1.

“Every game is important,” Head Coach Brian Dickinson said. “You gotta win your home games, so this was a great test.”

The men’s hockey power play looked solid against King’s College, scoring twice on three tries, but faltered against Neumann. The Golden Eagles went on four consecutive power plays in the second period against Neumann, converting just once on the man advantage. 

“I think we were all trying to force it a little bit,” Verbeke said. “The power play has always been something we can rely on so if it’s not working right away, we get a little individual and think we have to do it ourselves. If we go 0-4 on the power play and still get a goal on the last one, that’s always good, and getting a win without the power play clicking is even better.”

Aside from the power play struggles against Neumann, the weekend games were highlighted by big offensive contributions from Verbeke and Hutchins, each with five points in the first two games. Hutchins scored two goals and added an assist against King’s College, and added another goal and assist against Neumann. Verbeke lead the team with three points on Senior Night against Neumann, scoring a goal and taking two assists. 

“I think it’s just about sticking to the little details,” Hutchins said of his continued success. “It’s a team sport, so I give a lot of credit to my linemates and everybody else on the ice, but I think it’s just working hard and paying attention to the little details.”

Another bright spot from the weekend is the contribution seen from freshmen. Freshman defenseman Casey Winn turned in four assists over the weekend. Winn played comfortably paired with junior defenseman Connar Bass, as well as getting power play time.  Freshman winger Danny Rock scored two goals and played a majority of the game against Neumann on one of the top lines. Rock skated opposite junior Tim Kielich on the wing, centered by Shapiro.

The Golden Eagles have plenty of details to focus on for the future. Neither King’s College nor Neumann College are from the SUNYAC which the Golden Eagles are a part of. They face off against SUNY Fredonia on Friday, Nov. 3, before heading to Buffalo to play Buffalo State the following day. Those will be the first conference games the Golden Eagles play this season, and they’re primed and ready going into the matches off two big wins.

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