BROCKPORT, N.Y. — Geneseo’s Jonathan Redlick raced down the right side entering the Brockport zone, received a pass from Ryan Bulach, got behind the defense, cut across the crease, and slipped the puck through the spread out legs of Oliver Wren with 4:49 left in regulation to allow his Ice Knights to escape with a 3-2 victory.
“The timing couldn’t have been anymore perfect on that play, because Bulach didn’t really have much at that point,” Geneseo head coach Chris Schultz said. “He was pretty much one on three against their defenders. At that point I was saying to myself, Bulach get the puck deep. Don’t turn the puck over at that spot. I didn’t even see Redlick on the far side going. It was a great goal scorer’s goal right there.”
The hard fought game between travel partner rivals filled with near misses and spectacular saves nearly went into overtime. James Cody, with his Golden Eagles skating with an extra attacker, rang one off the crossbar with seconds to go.
“It’s always nice to beat Brockport,” Schultz said. “I give them a lot of credit. For being an 0-6 team, they played just as hard as any team we’ve played this year. They always get up for us.”
“They’re pretty heart broken in there,” Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson said of his team. “There was a lot of energy for the first time. Tonight, for 60 minutes our bench looked together. When they scored, we didn’t get down. We battled back. When they scored again, we didn’t get down. The end result obviously isn’t what everyone thought. At the end of the day, we’re still o-fer. There’s nobody who even remotely thought at this point this year we would be 0-7.”
Geneseo’s first lead came at 6:15 when Andrew Rygiel weaved his way into the zone, letting go of a wrist shot which beat Wren on the far side.
Cody tied it up three-and-a-half minutes later on an unassisted goal. He walked out in front from the corner. From the left circle, he turned and shot beating Adrian Rubeniuk. The goal was the result of a determined Brockport forecheck to keep the puck deep.
The Ice Knights retook the lead at 11:29 on their first power play. Redlick passed it to Danny Scagnelli at the middle of the blueline. His shot through the screen beat Wren five-hole.
“We just didn’t react well,” Dickinson said.
The second period started the habit of one near miss after another, mostly by Geneseo. Seven minutes in, David Arduin cut across the net, but Wren dove across to make the save. Late in the period, Carson Schell had the puck inches from the line with Wren completely out of the picture, but somehow managed not to push it over.
Minutes later, on the other end, Cody made a spectacular move around the last defender and then apparently around the goalie, but Wren made an equally spectacular recovery to just get a piece of it.
In the third period, it was Arduin again who found himself one-on-one with the goalie, but Wren robbed him. Bulach had a breakaway midway through the final period, but Wren get the better end of the deal.
Wren wound up with 34 saves.
“He gave us a chance to win,” Dickinson said. “That’s all we ask out of our goaltenders, to make the first stop.”
“There was a little bit of frustration kind of like the Buff. State game last weekend,” Schultz said. “But we learned from it. You just have to grind it out. Keep getting pucks to the net. You have to keep believing. It’s more of an attitude than anything else. I’m trying to talk our guys out of such things as puck luck. It’s really about attitude. If you think positively and do the right things, good things are going to happen. And finally we were able to get that third goal.”
Before Geneseo could score that third goal, Brockport tied it midway through the second period, 17 seconds after their first power play started. The Golden Eagles did a good job possessing the puck, passing it around the perimeter. Matt DeLuca let go of a slapshot from the middle of the blueline that sailed past Rubeniuk.
Geneseo defenseman Colin de Jersey injured his leg early and did not return to the game. The Ice Knights were already missing their rookie forward sensation Rich Manley for the second weekend in a row.
“We’re hurting defensively already,” Schultz said. “We played with five D. One of our D is playing hurt for us right now. It will be interesting tomorrow what we come up with for a lineup. It’s not getting any better. Then we have a quick turn around for the Thanksgiving tournament. We have to get guys healthy quickly.”
The next game for Geneseo (5-1-2, 4-1-1) is at Hobart Saturday night.
It doesn’t get any easier for Brockport (0-7, 0-6) who has to travel to Elmira tomorrow night.