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Hockey team's sixth seed dreams rest in defeat

by Justin Maybach - Staff Writer
Wed, Feb 27th 2019 02:50 pm
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The season of exceeded expectations with a young core has come to an end, but not without a strong fight.

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, The College at Brockport men’s ice hockey team traveled to take on the Plattsburgh State Cardinals in its first SUNYAC playoff game since 2017. Brockport had concluded the regular season with 15 wins, the most since the 1987-88 season.

However, only seven of those wins came against conference opponents, which was just good enough for the sixth seed. As a result, the Golden Eagles were matched up against a program that goes to playoffs repeatedly as one of the top three teams in the conference.

Brockport opened the game on a very strong note, as junior forward Doc Gentzler shot the puck past Plattsburgh’s Jimmy Poreda just 2:17 into the game to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. Ironically, Gentzler was the only player to score for Brockport in both regular season meetings against the Cardinals, and Poreda was in net for both those games as well. 

The Golden Eagles applied constant pressure on Plattsburgh throughout the rest of the first frame and the entire second period, while junior goalie Matt Schneider defended his crease with 14 saves. However, Brockport was unable to solve Poreda despite his risky decision making at times, and by the end of the night, had learned that beating a team like Plattsburgh requires scoring more than a single goal.

In the third period, the Cardinals finally started challenging the Golden Eagles and broke through with their first goal 6:48 into the frame. It wasn’t too long before Brockport found themselves down 2-1 after Plattsburgh intercepted a pass and shot it past Schneider. Both these goals came a minute and 22 seconds apart, and the Golden Eagles weren’t able to recover from the deficit. With an empty-net goal in the final two minutes, Brockport was officially handed a 3-1 loss by the Cardinals.

Despite exceeding the original expectations, head coach Brian Dickinson still thought his group had what it took to advance past the quarterfinal round.

“We unfortunately just couldn’t get the second goal to go in that would have given us a cushion,” Dickinson said. “Plattsburgh cashed in twice on a small lapse in our defensive zone and that proved to be the difference.”

While the loss may sting for a while, it is clear that this Brockport team has tremendous promise going into next season, especially with only three seniors departing. Gentzler will be among many talented forwards returning next season, and he believes the experience of reaching the playoffs was nothing but beneficial towards their development.

“I think experience is going to take us farther next year,” Gentzler exclaimed. “We are going to have a full line up of guys who now know what kind of effort it takes to make a run in the playoffs. Heading into my senior year, I am extremely confident in the core group of players that we will have in our locker room.”

Dickinson can also hold his head high as he looks to improve upon this season, in which he won more games than any other in his tenure.

“The excitement of being a playoff team and our team being a year older should help us in all aspects of the game,” Dickinson stated. “The future is very bright for our program.”

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