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Hockey team stands its ground in early SUNYAC matchups

by Carson Werner - Sports Editor
Wed, Nov 14th 2018 02:00 pm
The College at Brockport men's ice hockey team (above) stands facing the flags during the playing of the American and Canadian national anthems. The team started its season with four wins, one loss and one tie, exactly like the start to last year's campaign. The Golden Eagles have scored 17 goals and have given up 10 in their first six matches. So far, a productive offense and impenetrable goaltending have been the contributing factors to the squad's early success in the 2018-2019 season.
The College at Brockport men's ice hockey team (above) stands facing the flags during the playing of the American and Canadian national anthems. The team started its season with four wins, one loss and one tie, exactly like the start to last year's campaign. The Golden Eagles have scored 17 goals and have given up 10 in their first six matches. So far, a productive offense and impenetrable goaltending have been the contributing factors to the squad's early success in the 2018-2019 season.

One loss in its first six games has the Brockport ice hockey crew looking like a major force to start the season. Four of those games were against SUNYAC opponents that were conference playoff contenders last year. Brockport finished the four-game conference streak at 2—1—1, landing the team in second place to begin the 2018-2019 trek. 

The Golden Eagles had two consecutive weekends of two conference matchups in back-to-back days. This past weekend started with Brockport traveling to the SUNY Potsdam Bears on Friday, Nov. 9.

The Bears finished sixth last year in the SUNYAC despite scoring the second least amount of goals, giving up the second most and having a record of 6—8—2. The Golden Eagles proved that Potsdam does not deserve to be ranked above them this year as they dominated the Bears in the offensive zone all night. But the first period did not start in Brockport’s favor. 

Junior goaltender Matt Schneider is entering his third year on the team and will play a big role between the pipes this year for Brockport.

“Our offense is fast this year and that allows us to grind out wins,” Schneider said. “On the back end, communication is a huge part. We focus on playing solid together as a defensive unit. The better our play in the defensive zone, the easier it is for our offense to focus on scoring goals.”

That’s exactly what happened at Potsdam Friday night.

The Bears were able to go up early on the green and gold after scoring a pair midway through the first. Brockport had applied plenty of pressure at the start, but couldn’t light the lamp until three minutes into the second period when Mitchell Parsons scored his third of the season to cut the deficit in half. Two and a half minutes later, the Golden Eagles would take advantage of its power play when Jake Colosanti recorded his first goal on his first shot of the year. 

Brockport would strike again with just under five minutes remaining in the second when Jordan Renaud would score off assists Connor Hutchins and Aiden Salerno. 

It only took one period for the outperforming team to find the back of the net and take the lead. At the end of two periods, Brockport was outshooting Potsdam 34-13 and it was reflected on the scoreboard.

The Golden Eagles would be the only team to score in the third as they capitalized on the man advantage yet again with Connor Hutchins’ fourth power play point of the season. The game would finish out with Brockport holding on 4-2 and handing Potsdam its first conference loss in as many games. However, the men’s true test stood in the next game that followed. A team coming off a win over the second ranked team in Division III Ice Hockey, Plattsburgh. 

Plattsburgh’s men’s hockey team is unnervingly good this year in comparison to last. Geneseo has been among the top of the conference for years and was ranked highly heading into the 2018-2019 season. Plattsburgh defeated Geneseo 3-2 the same night Brockport beat Potsdam and the next night, Brockport and Geneseo flipped opponents. The two losing teams matched up while the two winners faced off in what ended as 65 minute tie.

The first period featured plenty of chances between both sides but neither team would find the back of the net until the second period. 

The Golden Eagles would open up scoring eight minutes in with Brockport’s second power play line coming together. Junior forward Doc Gentzler notched his second of the season in what would turn out to be Brockport’s most crucial goal of the game.

The Cardinals answered five minutes later to tie the game and relevel the playing surface. From that point on, neither team was able to set the other back, causing the game to end as a 1-1 tie.

Brockport’s efforts against Plattsburgh were only kept alive by senior goaltender Jake Moore. Before the match, Brockport had kept all opponents but one to under 20 shots a game. Plattsburgh managed 44 shots in the 65 minute bout against the Golden Eagles and saw Moore save 43 of them.

Coach Brian Dickinson has led his team to a 4—1—1 start in this year’s campaign and this past weekend was one of the biggest obstacles the team will face during the 2018-2019 regular season.

“Plattsburgh and Potsdam is the toughest trip in the SUNYAC,” Dickinson said. “I’ve been in the SUNYAC for 30 years and it’s the toughest D3 road trip out there no matter who’s first or second. To be successful up there, your goaltender has to be the top guy on the ice and this weekend was no different. Jake Moore was nothing short of sensational. He made numerous big saves when we were scrambling or when they were on the power play.”

Brockport will play its next game, home, against Hamilton College on Saturday, Nov. 17. The following weekend has the Golden Eagles participating in the Castleton Tournament, beginning Friday, Nov. 23 and ending Saturday, Nov. 24.