Players fly under the radar in SUNYAC

Oftentimes, top players on teams that aren’t at the top of the standings get overlooked. When they are doing well, they are sometimes dismissed as being the only go-to guy on the squad, so naturally their stats will be “inflated.”

This would be a misnomer when it comes to Brockport’s James Cody and Fredonia’s Jordan Oye and Bryan Ross. They would be accomplished players with any team in the league.

“He’s obviously a dominant player at our level,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said of his junior winger. “I hope he gets recognition this year. He’s kind of been flying under the radar for the last two years within our league. He’s a guy we have that we know when we put him on the ice, we could get offense.”

Cody has seven goals in conference play, tied for second. Overall amongst SUNYAC players, he is tied for first with 15 goals along with 14 assists. This past Friday, he scored three different ways against Potsdam — a short-handed breakaway, an in-close hard-working play, and a shot from an impossible angle.

“I don’t how it went in, but goal scorers find a way to get it done,” Dickinson said. “He’s having another fantastic year. He’s starting to find his groove with a lot of goals here in the last couple of games. We give him a lot of ice time because he deserves it. Everything he gets, he gets because he earns it.”

Jordan Oye leads the conference stats with eight goals. Overall, the senior is tied with Cody with 15 and also has 18 assists.

“Jordan’s playing the best hockey of his career right now,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “He’s always been good. He’s always been a key guy for us. Quite honestly, he’s putting the team on his back. I’m very proud of him. We are all the better for it.”

Bryan Ross is the junior winger who feeds his center, Oye. Ross is tied for the lead in conference scoring with 16 points and for assists with 11. Overall amongst SUNYAC players, he’s tops in points (34) and assists (24).

“You don’t have to tell these guys the situation we are in,” Meredith said. “Ross is another guy who comes to play and gives you everything he’s got. He’s a tremendous athletic player and that’s exactly what we need.”

Hockey Day in Potsdam
Marine Cpl. Aaron Howell served a tour in Iraq and then another one in Afghanistan. During the latter tour last April, the 24-year-old was severely injured by a mortar round while on patrol, losing both his legs and suffering other wounds. He is originally from Parishville, N.Y., about 10 miles from Potsdam.

The hockey community in the Town of Potsdam has gotten together to raise funds to aid in his recovery, called Hockey Day in Potsdam. On Saturday, January 29, the first puck drops at SUNY Potsdam’s Maxcy Hall, where the local high school plays Thousand Islands at 1:00 p.m.

The action then moves to Clarkson’s Cheel Arena, where the Golden Knights host Princeton at 4:00 p.m. Afterwards, hockey returns to Potsdam, where the Bears host Cortland at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are being sold for all three games at $20. Tickets will also be sold for each individual game at each site. All proceeds will go to benefit Marine Cpl. Aaron Howell.

For more information on the event, contact Clarkson assistant athletic director Scott Smalling at [email protected] or 315-268-7750.

Anybody wishing to make a donation on Cpl. Howell’s behalf without purchase of tickets can send them to: Jamey Hoose, SUNY Potsdam (Maxcy Hall), 44 Pierrepont Ave., Potsdam, NY, 13676.

Also this Saturday is Todd Sheridan’s second Saves for a Cure event. This time, it is where it all started, Brockport, for the third annual event. Once again, it includes a jersey auction. There will also be a donation bucket for fans who want to give. The next day, from 3 to 7 p.m., there will be a pasta dinner at Flash’s Tavern for $10.

Finally, congratulations to Plattsburgh’s Ryan Corry for being one of the 25 nominees for the 2011 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award.

Finalists will be announced in mid-February, with the award scheduled to be presented on Friday, April 8 at the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.

New Brockport Logo
Brockport has a new logo. A new golden eagle head design will be used as a new branded identity for Brockport Athletics. There will be a series of college-wide athletic logos and sport-specific set of marks for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“The College at Brockport has a rich and tradition-filled history, and as we celebrate our 175th anniversary as an institution, I could think of no better way to recognize the past while at the same time look toward the future through the release of a series of classic, yet modernized, athletic department marks and logo,” Brockport Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Noah LeFevre said in a school press release.

Game of the Week
There are three solid choices.

There is of course the tried and true — Oswego at Plattsburgh. With eight points separating these two teams and Oswego in first place by seven points, this game is virtually meaningless in the standings for Oswego. Barring a colossal collapse, the Lakers will wind up in first place, which is why this is my third choice for game of the week.

However, this is Oswego-Plattsburgh. For Oswego, it’s a chance to make another statement about their recent domination in this rivalry and not allow Plattsburgh to gain any confidence for a possible playoff matchup. For the Cardinals, points are very, very important, as they sit one point behind Geneseo for second place. Plus, Plattsburgh needs to end the recent losing streak to their archrivals. For those reasons, and Plattsburgh being home as well as playing extremely well lately, I’m picking the Cardinals.

My second choice is Fredonia at Buffalo State. This rivalry has continued to maintain it’s standing ever since the Bengals were able to consistently challenge Fredonia and thanks to a continuous stream of great games between these two.

“It will all come back to a typical Buff. State-Fredonia, typical SUNYAC match up,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “It’s like the WCHA of Division III, where everyone can beat anyone. It’s a meat grinder league. I expect Friday evening to be a whale of a game.”

So do I. Last time, Buffalo State outworked Fredonia. Don’t expect that to happen again this time. Buffalo State does, however, still have Kevin Carr, who continues to play very well. The Blue Devils will most likely go with Mark Friesen. Fredonia’s comeback against Oswego gave them a lot of confidence, and Buffalo State hasn’t quite been playing as well as they were at the start of the season. This could be a season-deciding moment for these teams, especially with three points separating them. I’m going with the visitors.

The game that gets my pick does so because they are closer together in the standings than the above choices — Morrisville at Geneseo. The last time they played, Morrisville won 3-2. That is part of the reason why the Mustangs are only two points behind Geneseo. Win again, and Morrisville really can think about getting a bye in the playoffs.

With the goaltenders in this game, I expect another close contest. I’m going with Geneseo to avenge the earlier defeat.

Other Picks
I went a near perfect 8-0-1 last week for a total of 73-20-7 (.765).

Cortland travels to Plattsburgh and Potsdam. Though the Red Dragons have been improving, and their best shot at a win this weekend is against Potsdam, I see them losing both. Oswego will not suffer from look-ahead syndrome, and will defeat Potsdam.

I expect Morrisville to start the weekend out with a win against Brockport. Despite the charity event, Brockport will not be able to defeat Neumann.

Another nonconference game takes place on Tuesday with Middlebury traveling to Plattsburgh. Unlike the Cardinals, Middlebury has not been able to turn around their season after a poor start. I don’t expect anything to change, as Plattsburgh will win.