BROCKPORT, N.Y. — Last season, Brockport made the SUNYAC playoffs for the first time in a very, very long time. This season, the Golden Eagles are hoping to continue that momentum.
Brockport opened the season by doing just that — keeping the momentum going from eight months ago as they easily defeated Lebanon Valley College, 9-1, in a non-conference game in front of a larger than normal crowd. Steve Seedhouse led the way with a hat trick while Chris Koras got a goal and four assists.
“I have to be satisfied anytime you can win your opener,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said.
They jumped out early by scoring 26 seconds in and then notched a shorthanded goal at 1:40.
Seedhouse got the first of his goals by firing back a rebound that was initially stopped by the defensemen on a Chris Brown shot.
Nine seconds after that goal, Lucas Schott was called for a major penalty for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. The five minute power play for Lebanon Valley paid dividends for Brockport instead. They had a number of chances to score shorthanded goals, converting on their first big chance.
A two-on-one breakout allowed Tim Crowley to be left alone at the backdoor to the left of the Lebanon Valley goalie, freshman Rich Drazin. Crowley easily redirected the pass from Mike Gershon to make it 2-0.
Dickinson was very happy with his penalty killing unit which did not let up a power play goal in five attempts by Lebanon Valley, including the major penalty.
“It’s certainly got to be where we were last year, certainly better,” he said. “They were very aggressive.”
The Flying Dutchmen cut the lead in half before the end of the opening period with their lone goal. Todd Sheridan, making perhaps his only mistake in net for Brockport, did not play the loose puck in front of the crease properly. He had the opportunity to clear it away, but did not do so with authority.
The result was Ray Nicks shooting the loose puck up high over a sprawled Sheridan just under the crossbar.
Sheridan would shut Lebanon Valley down the rest of the game until he was replaced by Derek Spence with 10:36 left in the game, making 22 saves in total.
“He made a big save about six minutes in,” Dickinson said. “He controlled his rebounds. Kept rebounds to the side. He was steady.”
Brockport exploded for four goals in the second period, including their only power play tally, to blow the game open. They outshot Lebanon Valley, 26-7, in that period.
Steve Wowchuk got things started with a hard slapshot from the right point after receiving a pass from Koras. The whole play developed as if Brockport was on the power play.
Less than a minute and a half later, Dave McNab put in a rebound from right in front of the net after Drazin left it there when he made a save on Aaron Boyer’s shot from the side.
Koras got his goal on the power play with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Sean O’Malley made it 6-1 when despite going in on a semi-breakaway, decided to shoot as soon as he crossed the blueline. His blast squeezed through the five-hole as Drazin got a piece of it. This goal came after Lebanon Valley put tremendous pressure on Brockport’s net to no avail.
Seedhouse scored the first two goals of the final period with the first one coming 24 seconds in. Sitting at the doorstep, he shot a quick one-timer into the net.
His hat trick goal relied on luck. He tried a wraparound, but the puck went out in front instead of towards the net. However, Lebanon Valley’s defenseman E.J. Smith accidentally knocked it into his own net. At this point, Drazin was relieved by Aaron Miller.
The first line for Brockport produced exactly the way Dickinson had hoped for.
“We talked about it before the game,” he said. “For us to make the next step, that line has got to produce.”
Gordon Pritchard wrapped up the scoring with less than two minutes left in the game. He picked up the puck in front of the net and danced around Miller, easily depositing the puck into the net.
Dickinson felt the team’s success was based on simplicity: “All those little things we worked on can have results if we just keep it simple.”
Brockport will need to have a lot of those little things work as they return to action playing two home games against Manhattanville next weekend.
Meanwhile, Lebanon Valley looks to rebound when they host Cortland next Saturday.