BROCKPORT, N.Y. — It was “Sea of Green Night” at Brockport’s Tuttle North Ice Arena. Green shirts were the fashion of the night. The home team wore their brand new road green uniforms. The Golden Eagles did their part, sending the near capacity crowd home happy in a 5-2 win over Geneseo, extending the school’s record unbeaten streak to ten (8-0-2). The win moves Brockport into third place in the SUNYAC.
“I thought we came out in the first period and really looked sharp,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “We knew Geneseo is a really good team in getting up the ice and having their defensemen jump in. I thought we did a really good job in finding our trailers and taking away their opportunities. And as the game wore on, I thought we got stronger.”
The first period started out conservative as both teams seemed more intent on not wanting the opposition to get the initial momentum. It did take a while, but that initial momentum went to Brockport at 15:24. Andrew Simmons from the left point threw the puck at the net. It bounced off a defender’s leg, and the change of direction completely fooled Cory Gershon.
“We talked about it after the five minute mark,” Dickinson said. “Looked like their goaltender was not moving very well. His legs weren’t moving. He was really fighting, reaching for a lot of pucks. We just concentrated on throwing pucks at the net. That was one that jump started us. As coaches, we always want that first goal, so the kids can loosen up and not feel the pressure of having to come from behind.”
The second period opened up more, but it still took almost just as long to score which came at 14:45 on the power play, and it gave Brockport a 2-0 lead. James Cody on the left side gave a perfect crossing feed to Justin Noble, who wristed it past Gershon.
“Cody made a nice play to track down a loose puck and go across the ice to Justin who was wide open and made no mistake,” Dickinson said. “It was a big point for our power play. We hadn’t been going that good on our power play. We got one to go last week. We worked hard on it this week.”
Geneseo got one back with 1:50 left in the middle stanza. Kevin Galan, despite having a defender draped over him, was able to sweep a loose puck to the side of the net past Todd Sheridan.
“We were able to use it as a teaching moment,” Dickinson said. “Our forecheck was starting to get a little relaxed. It was a good goal by Geneseo. You hoped that it doesn’t rally their momentum. We weren’t going to let that happen. I thought we came out in the third with bottled up aggression.”
The all-important fourth goal of the game was scored by Brockport when Mike Gershon scored on his brother, Cory Gershon. The defenseman flipped the puck towards the net from the right point that somehow got past the goaltender through the screen at 6:55.
Six minutes later, Brockport had a 4-1 lead thanks to a two-man advantage power play tally. From the right point, Cody’s shot sailed high over Gershon’s shoulder.
On the second of those penalties, 53 seconds later, Geneseo scored a shorthanded goal. It was the result of sloppy, lazy defensive play by Brockport, which resulted in Clint Olson down low banging it home.
“It was a team mistake,” Dickinson said. “On the power play when you are up a couple, you don’t want to give one up. We just relaxed. I think they just took it for granted — we’re on the power play; we’re going to make something happen; we just scored one. Geneseo kept coming hard to their credit. Hit the post and came back and bounced off Todd and went in.”
With Geneseo applying pressure to continue the comeback, Brockport broke out on a two-on-one. Chris Berardini carried the puck in on the right side, took the shot himself, beating Gershon five-hole for the clincher with 1:16 left.
“It was a great effort,” Dickinson said. “I thought man to man we did a lot of good things. I thought we held our composure. We let them [Geneseo] take penalties. Hopefully, we can build on that.”
Riding one of the best seasons in a long, long time, Brockport (11-5-3, 5-3-2) has to face the tough North Country trip with games at Plattsburgh and Potsdam next weekend.
Meanwhile, Geneseo (10-8-1, 5-4-1) looks to reverse their recent slump (1-5) as they too take the same trip in reverse order. First, they host an exhibition game against the USA Under-18 Team tomorrow night.