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Hockey's hot start freezes over

by Lou Venditti
Tue, Nov 14th 2017 09:00 pm
Brockport's hockey team (above) celebrated a 5-2 victory against the Plattsburgh Cardinals. The team is currently 4-1-1 on the season and has a near perfect playoff game record with only one loss this season. The Golden Eagles' next game is against SUNY Canton.
Brockport's hockey team (above) celebrated a 5-2 victory against the Plattsburgh Cardinals. The team is currently 4-1-1 on the season and has a near perfect playoff game record with only one loss this season. The Golden Eagles' next game is against SUNY Canton.

The Brockport Golden Eagles men’s hockey team had a wild weekend. The Golden Eagles played back-to-back home games, Friday, Nov. 10 against SUNY Plattsburgh and then Saturday Nov. 11, against SUNY Potsdam. After beating Plattsburgh 5-2, they lost to Potsdam 6–4. 

Against Plattsburgh, the Golden Eagles boasted one of their more impressive wins on the season. After a scoreless first period, Plattsburgh opened the scoring before senior winger Zac Sikich scored in response. Senior winger David Horan picked up a goal late in the second before Plattsburgh tied the game again early in the third period. The rest of the game was all Brockport, with goals from sophomore winger Hunter Laslo, an empty netter from senior winger Aidan Verbeke and a second goal from Sikich. Goaltender Matt Schneider won his third game of the season.

“I just try to go out and do the same thing everyday, give my team a chance to win,” Schneider said. “The guys have been playing well in front, so that always helps.”

The Golden Eagles battled hard against their SUNYAC division rivals. They trailed for only two minutes in the game before pulling away from Plattsburgh.

“I think the resiliency of this group has surprised me,” head coach Brian Dickinson said after the game. “We fell behind early in the second and allowed them to tie it in the third, and those are situations in the past where it would’ve taken us a while to regroup. We’ve given up a couple goals this year where we’ve gotten them right back.”

The team looked less resilient against Potsdam on Saturday. Senior center Dylan Shapiro opened scoring with a tough goal, driving to the net off the face off less than four minutes into the game. Potsdam struck right back, scoring 22 seconds later. Potsdam went on to score five more unanswered goals, including a shorthanded goal. Starting goaltender Jake Moore was pulled after allowing five goals, replaced by Schneider.

“It’s never fun pulling your goalie, especially being a former goalie,” Dickinson said. “We had no jump. Our guys weren’t playing good defense, and sometimes when you change the goaltender, it gets their attention.”

Schneider allowed a goal early in the third period, but the Golden Eagles rallied from being down 6–1 to score three goals in the third period, with one coming on a five minute major penalty to Potsdam for kneeing. It ended up being too little too late, however.

“I thought we did a great job of finishing off the game after it was 6–1,” Dickinson said. “At the end of the day, we dug ourselves a huge hole and unfortunately, we couldn’t climb all the way back.”

The Golden Eagles played one of the more physical games we’ve seen this season. Tensions flared throughout the game, with a game misconduct assessed to a player from each team. Sophomore center Doc Gentzler was ejected halfway through the second period for boarding, while Potsdam’s Paul Michuri was ejected five minutes into the third period for kneeing. Both resulted in five minute major power plays for the defending team.

The ejections weren’t the end of the action. Potsdam’s Joey Gilhooly had to be separated from Sikich after the horn blew, and was taken off the ice in the handshake line after jawing with Hutchins and sophomore defenseman Chris Pollini. 

“It’s always a big game when we play those guys,” Hutchins said. “We learned tonight that there’s no nights off. Every game is a big one.”

The Golden Eagles had their impressive weekend cut short by Potsdam, but the win against Plattsburgh cannot be understated. Brockport currently sits second in the SUNYAC at 4-1-1, with a 2-1-1 record and five points in SUNYAC play. SUNY Geneseo leads the division with six points with Plattsburgh in third with four points.

The Golden Eagles will be on the road until December 1. They play at SUNY Canton on November 17 before travelling to Castleton, Vermont for the Rutland Herald Invitational at Castleton State University on November 25.

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