The Unwanted Shootout
Three SUNYAC teams participated in two tournaments over the holidays, and it was Brockport that came away with the best result.
Though technically the Golden Eagles “lost” in the PAL Cup championship game in a shootout, their official record shows they didn’t lose a game.
“Mixed feelings,” Brockport coach James Eccles said about the good performance but not coming home with the tournament trophy. “I told the team before that this will go down as a tie, and the shootout is just for fun. To tell you the truth, we were disappointed. It’s a losing feeling after losing the shootout, 2-0. However, after an hour on the busy, things turned around.”
The players had ever right to shake off the shootout results and look at the positive. Brockport beat Southern New Hampshire, 7-5, and then tied Plymouth State, 3-3.
“We moved the puck well,” Eccles said. “The boys played well systematically, playing from zone to zone. Very offensive minded throughout the game. Very opportunistic.”
The first game was quite a shootout. After relinquishing the first goal in the first period, Gordon Pritchard tied it up for the Golden Eagles. Southern New Hampshire once again took the lead early in the second before Steve Seedhouse tied it. Southern New Hampshire then scored two unanswered goals to end the middle stanza leading 4-2.
Chris Koras scored two in a row which was followed by goals by A.J. Maio and David Dufresne to give Brockport their own two-goal lead. Nineteen seconds later, Brockport gave one back, but Pritchard’s second of the game late in the game clinched it. Pritchard also picked up two assists for four points on the night.
The Plymouth State game saw Brockport grab leads that they couldn’t hang onto. Koras and Mike Gershon made it 2-0 before Plymouth got one back in the first. Aaron Boyer gave Brockport a two-goal lead again, but Plymouth got it back before the second period ended. Plymouth tied the game on a third period power play. Then, Plymouth only needed four of the five shootout rounds to take the title.
Derek Spence played both games in net for Brockport making 25 and 24 saves, respectively.
“Derek Spence did an outstanding job,” Eccles said. “A little shaky early on as it was his first collegiate start, but once he got into the flow, he played solid.”
The Other Shootout
The other tournament was, of course, the Primelink Shootout. Both SUNYAC teams came away with a win and a loss.
The first game saw them face each other as Plattsburgh defeated Potsdam, 5-1. Plattsburgh scored four power play goals and Potsdam’s was also on the power play. The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to two goals by Ben Kemp and single tallies by Ryan Busby and Kevin Galen. Pat Lemay broke the shutout early in the third and Mike Thomson finished the scoring. Craig Neilson had 22 saves in the win.
Thus Plattsburgh headed for the championship game against Middlebury while Potsdam played the first game versus Norwich.
In the consolation game, Potsdam upset the Cadets, 4-3, in overtime. Lemay gave the Bears the lead, but Norwich tied it up with 30 seconds left in the first. Norwich scored quickly in the second on the power play to take the lead.
Late in the second, Nik Bibic scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game. That was quickly answered by Noriwch on the same power play. Ryan McCarthy knotted the game with a third period goal. That set up the overtime game winner by Corey McAllister.
Rob Barnhardt made 31 saves in net.
In the nightcap, Plattsburgh fell to Middlebury, 3-2. Each period, Middlebury scored first. And in each period, except the third, Plattsburgh tied it up. Deryk Whitehead and T.J. Cooper got the goals. Neilson made 22 saves.
Solitary League Game
The only conference game the past two weeks say Geneseo defeat Brockport, 5-2.
Geneseo grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to a power play goal with ten seconds left in the first period by Kris Heeres and a second period goal by Mathieu Cyr. Blake Reilly got one back for Brockport in the third period.
That was followed by Geneseo’s Mike MacDonald putting the game away with a pair of goals in a 3:51 time span. Reilly got his second of the night, but Mitch Stephens scored an empty netter to clinch the game.
Derek Jokic got the win with 27 saves while Devin Ramasawamy made 30 saves in the loss.
The win moved Geneseo into fourth place two points ahead of Buffalo State and Potsdam, one point behind Fredonia for third, and two points behind Plattsburgh for second. Meanwhile, Brockport remains pointless in the SUNYAC.
SUNYAC Short Shots
Oswego outshot Wentworth, 53-22 in a 4-3 win … Oswego went 6 for 10 on the power play in their 7-4 victory over Curry … Oswego’s C.J. Thompson got a hat trick and two assists against Curry in addition to two goals against Wentworth for a seven point weekend … Oswego now has an eight game winning streak … Plattsburgh’s Craig Neilson leads the league with an overall 2.39 GAA. Within conference play, Oswego’s Ryan Scott leads at 2.00 GAA … Plattsburgh has only given up four goals in the first period.
Game of the Week
There are a couple of runner up candidates. Buffalo State at Potsdam is important for both teams as they are currently tied for fifth place heading into the weekend, and could still be tied for their match up depending on how they do on Friday.
Another key game involves the bottom of the order — Brockport at Cortland. This game down the road could have playoff implications if any of these teams hope to get in.
“This is where we start making our mark,” Eccles said. “We have to take from this past weekend and attack Cortland. Nothing different.”
The top game is Geneseo at Oswego. Last year as the playoffs started, many felt these two would square off in the final round. Instead, Oswego got upset at home by Plattsburgh in the semifinal, giving Geneseo the opportunity to host the championship.
“They’re a good team,” Oswego coach Ed Gosek said of this year’s Geneseo squad. “The only difference is their goaltending. They basically have the same team back except for Walker.”
On the other hand, Oswego has quite a different and young team for this year.
“We are such a young team that many don’t know the history of last year,” Gosek said. “We haven’t talked about last year. We’re just focusing on ourselves.”
Geneseo is also looking at the effect this game will have on this year’s standings and not what took place the previous season. The Ice Knights are four points behind the unbeaten Lakers, and need this opportunity to close the gap.
“I think it’s really important,” Geneseo coach Jason Lammers said of Friday’s match up. “Obviously, they [Oswego] are playing well. We’re looking forward to playing at that level. Our guys are really excited about the game.”
The fans should also be really excited about this game.
Life Is Good
What are the odds?
The day after Thanksgiving, I took the Long Island Railroad from my sister’s house into New York City. It’s no surprise that a lot of out of towners were in the city as many came to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So, when I saw a bunch of Wisconsin folks, it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the Badger hockey jackets they wore.
However, that was topped later on. While waiting in line at Saks Fifth Avenue to see the annual holiday window displays (the best were the fairy tale scenes at Lord & Taylor), walking by was a guy with a Plattsburgh State wool hat.
It was a cold day, but the hot soft pretzel from a street vendor helped warm my belly as well as my hand, and of course delight my taste buds.