BUFFALO, N.Y. — Four days ago, Brockport beat Buffalo State at home to end the regular season.
That win set up a rematch in the first round of the SUNYAC playoffs, but only this time, the game was in Buffalo.
The Bengals enacted revenge with a 7-2 thrashing of the Golden Eagles Wednesday night.
Buffalo State opened up a 4-0 lead, weathered a brief storm and then the floodgates opened thanks to numerous odd-man rushes.
Nick Berst scored two in a row in the first followed by Dan Turgeon scoring two in a row in the second to open a 4-0 lead.
Kevin Carr made 28 saves in goal for the win.
“Being at home, there might have been some pressure on our shoulders a little bit,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said. “It’s always nice to score one and to score the first two is big.”
“It’s not the way we wanted to finish,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said.
Buffalo State scored twice in the first period. Ryan Salkeld at the right faceoff circle fed a perfect back-door pass to Berst, who had no trouble redirecting the puck into the net at 12:56.
Berst made it 2-0 in a totally different way.
With Brockport on its second consecutive power play, which overlapped for 16 seconds, Berst blocked a shot from the left point. This enabled Berst to take off on a clean breakaway. He headed straight in before cutting left and beating Aaron Green with a backhander just between the pad and post at the 19-minute mark.
Turgeon scored twice early in the second, both on quick rushes. He finished off a two-on-one breakout with a one-timer from Taylor Pryce. The second was from the low slot after being fed by Mike Zannella.
Brockport called timeout, and showed some life, scoring twice in a 1:11 span.
On the power play, Chris Luker blasted a shot from the middle of the blueline. Chris Cangro slammed one home after receiving a cross-crease pass from Brendon Rothfuss with the teams skating four aside.
The momentum quickly flipped again as the Bengals scored three times in 2:06. Jake Rosen finished off a two-on-one on the power play followed by Billy Strakosch finishing off another two-on-one finalized by Ben Kramer finishing off a three-on-one.
“We looked at the tape in between periods,” Carriere said. “We caught their defensemen without back pressure. There are days we execute on those two-on-ones and there are days you don’t.”
“We didn’t adjust well to their faceoff play,” Dickinson said. “They played more like Buff State today. They were going hard off the glass. We were changing at the wrong times. For a 10-minute period, they were flying up the ice.”
The seven goals in the first two periods by the home team were equal to the number of goals they scored in the last five games combined.
“I think we broke out,” Carriere said. “I think today, passes were quicker and guys were finding twine.”
Brockport didn’t give up, applying a lot of pressure in the third period, missing an open net and hitting the crossbar. However, the red light stayed off for the period, as the scoring finally subsided.
Brockport’s five-game winning streak ends, finishing the season at 10-13-3.
“It’s bittersweet for them,” Dickinson said of his team’s last game of the season. “But they did something the previous group was unable to do – make the playoffs.”
Buffalo State (10-11-5) moves onto the semifinal round where the Bengals will play at Geneseo Saturday night.
“We’re going to be excited to make that right,” Carriere said about the 3-2 loss to Geneseo, after leading 2-0, this past weekend.
In the other play-in game tonight, Oswego defeated Fredonia 3-2. The Lakers will travel to Plattsburgh for their semifinal matchup.