BROCKPORT, N.Y. — It was dj vu all over again.
Brockport hosted Potsdam in a rematch of last year’s SUNYAC play-in game. Brockport scored three goals just like last year. Brockport played solid defense with excellent goaltending — just like last year. Brockport equaled their win total from last year. The only difference is this time Brockport got the shutout, defeating Potsdam, 3-0.
“I thought we controlled most of the tempo,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “When they did get going, we were able to keep their shots to the outside. I didn’t really feel Todd [Sheridan] had to make any bona fide Grade As. A lot of their shots were from the outside. A lot of their shots were blocked or deflected wide.
Our goal was to make sure that big line didn’t get moving up through the middle of the ice. It was great for Todd to get a shutout because it’s a great memory for him, but really that was a team shutout.”
“For most of the game, the puck wouldn’t settle down,” Potsdam head coach Chris Bernard said. “We didn’t carry enough territory. Credit them: they packed it in tight. It was tough to get pucks through. They battled hard for the rebounds that did get through.”
It appeared the first period would end scoreless until Brockport scored with 50 seconds left. Justin Noble down the left side fired a snap shot over the far shoulder of Andy Groulx.
“We were hoping to score early against the freshman and get him on his heels a little bit,” Dickinson said. “Any time you can score a goal in the last minute to get that momentum going, it’s certainly big. The pass went into Noble’s skate, and he did a great job getting it from skate to stick, one timer. Well placed.”
The first period saw just one penalty while the second had six calls made. Though the first Potsdam penalty expired, it eventually led to a Brockport goal to make it 2-0 at 10:02.
“We were calling for a change on a couple of guys because the power play mixed things up a bit,” Dickinson said who never saw the goal trying to pay attention to the line change.
It was a slow developing play to begin with, but quickly turned into a 3-on-1 down low. James Cody was left unmarked down the middle and he one-timed the pass from Adam Shoff right in front of the net.
Before the goal, Brockport nearly got their second goal early in the period while short-handed. The Golden Eagles had a two-on-none breakaway, but put the shot right into Groulx, who cut the angle down perfectly.
Potsdam finally got some consistent pressure on Brockport in the middle of the second period including a solid power play, but Sheridan was able to keep them at bay.
“He made those stops he needed to make,” Bernard said. “I think our power play was less than sharp early on. We got some movement later on.”
The third period was like the first period, a clean, quickly played game with just one penalty, not counting a frustration penalty in the waning seconds.
Potsdam pulled their goalie with a minute to go, but Brockport eventually cleared the zone, and Cody scored his second into the empty net from far over to the left side. Appropriately, Sheridan got an assist on the goal.
Potsdam (9-14-2) once again ends their season in Brockport. After a strong middle of the season, the Bears didn’t get the results down the stretch most expected.
Brockport (14-11-1) moves on to the SUNYAC semifinals Saturday evening. Instead of going to Oswego like everyone expected, they will instead travel to Plattsburgh because Morrisville stunned Fredonia in the other play-in game, 3-2, in overtime.