Geneseo uses power play, Horrigan to beat Brockport

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BROCKPORT, N.Y. — After a weekend to forget, Geneseo rode three power play goals and 33 saves by Nick Horrigan to defeat Brockport 5-3 Friday night.

The Ice Knights led 2-0 and 4-2 before finally clinching the game with an empty-net goal.

“I’m happy with our effort,” Geneseo coach Chris Schultz said. “I’m happy with the details we worked on all week after the train wreck of a weekend we had last weekend. We played really well in the defensive zone.”

“They were going to come out hard in the first five, six minutes after the weekend that they had,” added Brockport coach Brian Dickinson. “We didn’t answer the bell. I was a little disappointed we weren’t ready to play at a high level given the fact where they are in the national rankings, what they did last year, it’s a rivalry game. We didn’t match their intensity in the first five, six minutes of the game. They dictated play.”

Geneseo scored twice 22 seconds apart by the 7:01 mark. Pressure on the power play paid off as Tyler Brickler put a second rebound in from the right circle. Nate Brown quickly made it 2-0 when his shot from the middle of the blue line sailed untouched until it nicked the post and deflected into the net.

Brockport regrouped and got one back at 18:14 on their own power play, a five-on-three. The two pointmen played catch until finally, Chris Luker blasted a slap shot past Horrigan.

“We settled down, got a late one,” Dickinson said. “That made us believe we could play with them.”

At 6:18 of the second period, the game was tied. Robbie Hall had a great opportunity on a rebound, but couldn’t put it in. However, his rebound found its way to the stick of Troy Polino, who found the five-hole.

“Second period, we were much better,” Dickinson said. “We were able to get one on a nice play after sustained pressure.”

After seeing a 3-0 lead last week against Plattsburgh turn into a loss, was Schultz concerned he was witnessing deja vu?

“No,” Schultz said. “I just knew the mood of the team. The mood of the team was good. They stayed focused. They didn’t get down. That’s going to happen in basically every SUNYAC game we’re going to play this year, so they better get used to it.”

Another power-play goal midway through the period put Geneseo back in the lead. David Ripple from the side of the net made a fancy toe-drag move to get around one defender and then fed it across the crease to Ryan Stanimir at the back door. Stanimir timed the bouncing puck just right to put it in the unguarded net.

Early in the third period came the deciding moment of the game.

Already a man down, Brockport suffered from the new delay of game rule this year by playing the puck in the faceoff circle with your hand. This gave Geneseo a two-man advantage, which it took advantage of.

A rebound of Stanimir’s shot from the left circle came out on the opposite side. Jack Caradonna, while falling to the ice, dived at the puck to poke it in to the open side of the net at 6:01.

Brockport didn’t give up, and with another two-man advantage, cut the lead to one at 13:14. A cross-slot pass allowed Chase Nieuwendyk to just put it inside the near post.

“I thought we battled hard right to the end,” Dickinson said. “I’m proud of the way we came back, but we have to be a much better first period team.”

Despite some close calls by Brockport, Jack Ceglarski finished the game off on an empty-netter with 4.9 seconds left.

Tonight’s game was the first for the Saves for a Cure weekend organized by former Brockport record-holding goaltender Todd Sheridan.

“He’s a great guy,” Dickinson said. “Solid individual. Really happy to have him for four years. The things he has done as a person, and his organization. We’re just tickled to be a part of it year in and year out. The work he’s done with the Golisano Center with the amount of money he has raised through the years and given back. He was a big part of the turnaround of our program when he came here. It brings back great memories.”