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Ice hockey takes crucial point from SUNY Oswego

by Carson Werner - Staff Writer
Wed, Feb 12th 2020 10:20 am
Senior Matt Schneider focuses on making a save for Brockport against SUNY Oswego on Saturday, Feb. 8. Senior Connor Hutchins and two other Golden Eagles try to help Schneider keep the puck out of the net.
Senior Matt Schneider focuses on making a save for Brockport against SUNY Oswego on Saturday, Feb. 8. Senior Connor Hutchins and two other Golden Eagles try to help Schneider keep the puck out of the net.

Of the green and gold teams in the SUNYAC, SUNY Oswego has deemed itself as the most dominant team on the ice. The last time The College at Brockport had defeated the Lakers was during the 2013-14 season. Brockport finished that season 10—13—3, but that victory was a part of a four-game win streak. Since that game, the Golden Eagles have gone 0—12—1 against the SUNYAC powerhouse and have been outscored 56-14. If Brockport was to stay lock-tight in the SUNYAC playoff race, something other than a regulation loss would be necessary. 

Feeling the pressure, the Golden Eagles got the start they needed by scoring on their third shot of the game. Junior forward Ethan Solat registered his sixth goal of the season on an unassisted effort four minutes into the game.

On the other end of the ice, senior netminder Matt Schneider was tested early and often. Of the 14 shots thrown his way during the first period, he turned away 13, beaten just once while the Lakers were on the powerplay.   

In the second, Oswego claimed an early 2-1 lead but were heavily subdued for the remainder of the period, registering just four shots on net. With a minute left in the period, freshman forward Kevin Mainello independently gained the puck on an offensive zone forecheck to setup sophomore forward Robert Flannery in front of the net. One-on-one with the goaltender, Flannery roofed the puck glove side to retie the game. 

“My first thought when Kevin hit me in front was ‘don’t miss the net,’” Flannery said. “I kind of realized right away that it was an important goal just because it tied the game up and we really didn’t want to go into the third period down.”

The equalizer became a crucial point in the game, as Brockport and Oswego remained scoreless through the entirety of the third period and five minutes of overtime action. Schneider refused to let Oswego retake the lead and stopped 19 shots while the game was tied. He would finish the game with 37 saves, one short of his career-high at Brockport. 

“The biggest factor in keeping the game tied after being outshot was Matt Schneider,” Flannery said. “He’s been keeping us in a lot of games this year.

The Golden Eagles are 8—1—1 in their last 10 games and have gone 1—1—1 against conference opposition during the stretch. Brockport has the second-best overall record in the SUNYAC at 13—7—1, only behind SUNY Geneseo’s 17—3—2 mark. Following the tie with Oswego, Brockport maintained the fourth seed with 13 points and kept Potsdam in fifth with 12 points. 

This late in the season, every point counts. The top six teams in the conference will advance to the playoffs in hopes to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. As of now, Geneseo and Oswego are the only two teams to have clinched a playoff berth, solidifying their spots in first and second, respectively. The four remaining spots are separated by five points with Morrisville State College and SUNY Cortland tied for sixth with 10 points apiece. But by defying the odds with a win against Oswego, the Golden Eagles could have gained possession of third place this past weekend, currently held by Buffalo State College with 15 points. 

Brockport was anticipating a two-game weekend, beginning with an away game at Cortland on Friday, Feb. 7. The game was postponed due to inclement weather and has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. 

“I think the cancellation of the Cortland game allowed us to focus on Oswego a little more knowing it was the only game of the weekend by Friday morning,” junior forward Danny Rock said. “Also, rather than playing a game Friday, we practiced, which allowed us to get more rest and preparation for the 4 p.m. game Saturday.” 

Before Cortland, the Golden Eagles will be tasked with two additional SUNYAC opponents. Brockport will host the Teddy Bear Toss and First Responders Night on Friday, Feb. 14, against SUNY Fredonia and then travel to third-seeded Buffalo State the next day for a 7 p.m. matchup. 

“The game plan heading into Fredonia and Buffalo State is to play our style of hockey,” Rock said. “We want to play with our speed every game so nothing changes going into those games. It’s important that we focus on one game at a time and play our best hockey in each of these games in order to get the weekend sweep.”

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