The fight for third place in the SUNYAC produced a wild back and forth third period between Brockport and Fredonia. In the end however, the teams skated to a 3-3 overtime tie. This allows Fredonia to maintain a three point lead over Brockport.
“I thought it was a really good college hockey game with good chances both ways,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “We knew it would be tough. This is a tough building to play in. They’re obviously having a great season, playing with a lot of confidence.”
“I liked the way our guys battled,” Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith said. “There were so many things tonight that could have gotten them sidetracked on. They kept battling back. We were behind the whole game.”
Alex Morton tied the game for Fredonia with 1:26 left in regulation with an extra attacker on the ice. Then Brockport’s Todd Sheridan preserved the tie with outstanding saves in overtime, including stopping his third breakaway of the night.
“Todd made a lot of quality saves to give us a point,” Dickinson said. “He was very clutch when we needed him to be.”
It took just 33 seconds for the third period to get off with a bang, as Brockport grabbed a 2-1 lead. Ray Tremblay threw the puck towards the net. Gregg Amato, standing near the post, redirected it just enough to sneak it by Cody Van Rentergem.
Fredonia applied ever-increasing pressure to try and get the equalizer. It finally paid off at 13:51. Steve Rizer fired from the left point and Brett Mueller deflected it high over Sheridan’s shoulder.
The tie didn’t last long, as Brockport retook the lead 1:28 later on a perfectly executed two-on-one. Tom Galiani skating down the left side dropped it for James Cody in the slot. Cody wristed a shot over Van Rentergem’s glove.
Fredonia re-tied it with 1:26 left in regulation. The play started when Brockport missed an opportunity to clear the zone with Fredonia’s goalie sitting on the bench. Fredonia transitioned the puck down low, where a Bryan Ross shot was stopped, but Morton was by the crease to flip it past Sheridan laying on the ice.
“You go out on a limb when you get your goalie out,” Meredith said. “I figured that thing is coming our way and liable to be the end of it. Somehow, we managed to keep that in and it got to the net and boom, boom, boom there it is.”
“Unfortunately, we had a major breakdown at the end of regulation, allowing them to tie it,” Dickinson said.
Overtime continued to see both teams press for the game winner, allowing a few odd man rushes. However, the goaltenders stood their ground, keeping the game tied.
Sheridan wound up with 45 saves while Van Rentergem stopped 41.
“I thought Cody played really well,” Meredith said. “Cody made some big plays.”
Brockport swarmed all over the Fredonia zone from the drop of the opening faceoff. It paid off during its first power play, taking a 1-0 lead at 6:16. Amato at the backdoor received a cross-ice pass, tipping it in.
Shortly before the initial goal while skating four aside, Bryan Ross nearly gave Fredonia the first lead on a clean breakaway. However, Sheridan stood his ground and made the save.
The period continued to be played at a rapid pace, as Fredonia started to get its legs. The Blue Devils’ effort paid off with 1:12 left in the period, getting them into the first intermission knotted at one.
A very quick two-on-one rush resulted in the tally. Morton, racing down the left side, quickly passed it to James Muscatello coming straight down the middle. Muscatello immediately redirected the puck through the five-hole, as Sheridan couldn’t move quick enough.
Brockport started the second period with a two-man advantage. However, the closest they came to scoring was when they smacked the post on a slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
Midway through the period, Fredonia got another breakaway. This time it was Jeff Aonso who came straight in and tried to deke Sheridan, but once again Sheridan stayed with the puck to make the save.
The Golden Eagles nearly took the lead a few minutes later, but once again the pipes got in the way. Cody fired a bullet from the top of the right faceoff circle that sailed over the right shoulder of Van Rentergem, hit the crossbar, came straight down, and then bounced away from the crease.
Despite all the opportunities in the second period, the teams remained tied heading to the third, a third period the teams fought tooth and nail over.
Fredonia (15-5-2, 7-4-2) travels to the North Country next weekend to play Potsdam and Plattsburgh.
Brockport (12-9-1, 6-6-1) returns home to face Geneseo on Friday.