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Hockey looks to end the first half of the season with a win

by Lou Venditti
Tue, Dec 5th 2017 09:00 pm
 Brockport forward (right) beats the goalie and two Cortland defenders to score the third and final goal.  The ice hockey team is currently stitting in the midtable of the standings after it dropped a game against Oswego, taking its record to 6-4-1. SUNYAC play-wise, the team finds itself with a record of 3-2-1.
Brockport forward (right) beats the goalie and two Cortland defenders to score the third and final goal. The ice hockey team is currently stitting in the midtable of the standings after it dropped a game against Oswego, taking its record to 6-4-1. SUNYAC play-wise, the team finds itself with a record of 3-2-1.

The Brockport hockey team split its weekend games. Coming off a disappointing loss in the finals of the Catamount Radio Invitational in Castleton, Vermont, the Golden Eagles bounced back with a Friday win against SUNY Cortland 3-1 before losing on the road to Oswego 3-0. 

Against Cortland, the Golden Eagles looked polished. They have entirely bounced back from the crushing 4-3 against Castleton State the previous weekend. Senior winger David Horan opened up the scoring about 10 minutes into the first period, followed by an unassisted goal from senior center Dylan Shapiro. Shapiro added a power play goal in the third period and finally sealed the game, making it 4-3.

One of the biggest changes in the lineup came from head coach Brian Dickinson. Dickinson shuffled his lines, moving sophomore center Connor Hutchins between freshman wingers Ethan Solat and Danny Rock. 

Senior captain and winger Aidan Verbeke made the move to center, centering senior winger Zac Sikich and junior winger Tim Kielich. Sikich and Verbeke previously played on Hutchins’ line.

“I played center in juniors a lot until I came here,” Verbeke said on his transition to center. “When I got here, it was transitioning to the wing that was a little more new. It’s been, I guess not natural, but anywhere I get slotted in, I just try to keep it simple.”

Dickinson explained his line changes.

“We mixed our lines around last week to try and get some secondary scoring because everything has been Verbeke, Sikich and Hutchins,” Dickinson said. “It worked a little bit against Tufts, and we got back to working very hard all week during  practice.”

Another big addition to the lineup was the return of sophomore winger Luke Bennett. Bennett, who played his first game of the season against Cortland, was kept out of games with concussion symptoms for the first month of the season. He slotted into the fourth line, with freshman center Shane Visnick and sophomore winger Doc Gentzler. 

“He’s just an energy guy,” Dickinson said about Bennett. “He works his tail off and knows what his role is. He’s gonna bang bodies and fly up and down the ice. He just kind of raises the entire energy on the bench.”

The most consistent pair on the back end has been freshman defenseman Casey Winn and junior defenseman Connar Bass. Winn started the season hot, with four points in the opening weekend. He’s added a goal and an assist for a goal and five assists on the season. Bass has just three points, but has played solid defensively.

Against Oswego, the Golden Eagles faltered, being shutout 3-0 on the road. The last time the Golden Eagles won in Oswego was February 2014. However, the 3-0 loss on the road this year was not nearly as bad as last year’s 10-1 dogging. Oswego sits at second in the SUNYAC standings, just behind Geneseo. The Golden Eagles face off against Geneseo on Friday.

“Coming back home for the last game of the semester against our rivals Geneseo, you can’t ask for a better situation,” Verbeke said. “Hopefully this place is alive and excited and we follow suit.”

After Geneseo on Friday, the Golden Eagles are off for a month. The team returns to action on January 9 at home against Williams College.

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