Buffalo State withstood a strong first period by Brockport and then took advantage of a five-minute power play to score twice for a come-from-behind 3-2 victory.
“I thought we were very sloppy in the first period,” Buffalo State coach Nick Carriere said. “The second period we got a little better. Lots of power plays and penalty kills. We executed on a couple of big ones that we needed. We showed some resilience coming back from a deficit. [Goalie] Kevin Carr played well.”
“I thought we came out with a lot of jump. We took it to them,” added Brockport coach Brian Dickinson. “I thought we controlled the play for the first 20 minutes. As the game wore on, the penalties took us out of rhythm. The five-minute major discombobulated our lines.”
Brockport has had numerous problems scoring goals this year and came out in the first period determined to right that ship, controlling most of the play in the Bengals’ zone. They outshot Buffalo State 13-4 with numerous other chances missing the net entirely.
“We barely did [weather the storm],” Carriere said. “They absolutely out competed us in the first period. They were playing at a pace which were pinning our ears back.”
“I thought some of our better chances we whistled wide,” Dickinson said. “That’s something we got to get away from. We’ve got to get away from picking corners.”
However, when all was said and done after 20 minutes, they only had a 1-0 lead to show for it. And that goal was scored in the waning seconds of the period.
Shane Cavalieri scored it with his first of two rebound goals at 19:45. Just seconds after a Buffalo State penalty expired, Mike Hayward fired a shot from the point that Carr stopped. However, the rebound dropped to his side and Cavalieri was there to smack it in.
The lack of a larger lead bit Brockport as Buffalo State tied it at 5:10 of the second, just seconds after a Golden Eagles’ penalty expired. Trevor McKinney, from the right face off circle at a difficult angle, threw a floater towards the net. It appeared to change direction, fooling Jared Lockhurst as it went by.
Brockport regained the lead at 11:24 with Cavalieri’s second of the night. A loose puck squirted just to the left of Carr after Jeremy DeFazio took the initial shot. The rebound came out next to Carr’s right side where nobody saw it. Finally, Cavalieri spotted it and swooped in to tip it home.
The game turned when Michael Zagari took the five-minute major and game misconduct at 16:53 for hitting from behind, providing Buffalo State with a golden opportunity. They tied the game at 19:36 when Nick Melligan’s shot deflected off Lockhurst’s glove, trickling into the net.
Brockport dug an even deeper hole when seconds later Brendon Rothfuss took an unsportsmanlike penalty, giving the Bengals a two-man advantage for a full two minutes.
Buffalo State took advantage of it at 1:31 of the final period. A crossing pass by Ben Kramer was redirected in by Brett Hope, giving Buffalo State its first lead of the night, 3-2.
Penalties continued to plague Brockport in the final stanza, costing them time to try to tie the game. The Golden Eagles were even down by two men in the waning minutes. When it finally got to even strength, Brockport pulled its goalie, but to no avail.
Carr wound up with 27 saves for the win, while Lockhurst stopped 40.