Saturday, December 9, 2017

The first semester by the numbers

As the first semester of play has come to a close, let's look at some key numbers:

RECORD: The Golden Eagles are 6-5-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the SUNYAC. They are fourth in the conference.

SCORING: The team has averaged 3.50 goals per game, the 23rd best output in the country. Aidan Verbeke and Zac Sikich share the team lead with 8 goals each. 7 Golden Eagles have scored 3 or more goals. Verbeke is the 35th-highest scoring player in the country, averaging 1.42 points per game. He is also third in the country in power play goals (3).

DEFENSE: The Golden Eagles have allowed 3.17 goals per game, which has them ranked 49th in the country. Goalie Matt Schneider sports a .905 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA.

SPECIAL TEAMS: It's a reversal of fortunes in special teams this year. The power play is ranked 55th in the country (15.4% success rate) after having consistently ranked in the Top 15 in that category since the 2013-2014 campaign. This year, the penalty kill unit is the best in the country, being successful 95.9% of the time. Last year, they were second-to-last in that category in 77th place. 

Brockport falls to Geneseo

The College at Brockport drops a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) contest against SUNY Geneseo Friday evening losing by a score of 6-2. The Golden Eagles fall to 6-5-1 (3-3-1 SUNYAC) on the season, where the Knights move to 8-3-1 (6-2-1 SUNYAC).

Both teams came out battling midway through the opening period, before Brockport suffered a penalty which lead to a Geneseo power play. The Green and Gold proved why they are ranked number one in the country for the penalty kill as they halted the Knights man-up advantage to keep the game scoreless in the first. The Golden Eagles fell behind in the 15th minute after Geneseo tallied the first goal of the match to lead 1-0 heading into the second period.

Brockport fell further behind as the Knights doubled their lead seven minutes into the second period. Moments later, Doc Gentzler for the Golden Eagles notched their first goal of the game to cut their deficit to 2-1. Gentzler collected a miss pass by Geneseo behind the opposing net, in which he wrapped the puck around to the front and sent his shot between the goalie's legs. The lead was extended for the Knights as they added two more goals throughout the second to take a 4-1 advantage. Brockport fought back in the last minutes of the period, as Ryan Romeo picked up a loose puck near the blue-line and took a one-time slap shot into the back of the net to bring the score to 4-2 as they headed into the final period.

The Green and Gold opened up the period on the power play but were unsuccessful on the man-advantage to still trail the Knights by two goals. Brockport slipped as Geneseo netted two back-to-back goals to take a 6-2 advantage. The Golden Eagles attempted to get back into the game but were unable to find the back of the cage for the remainder of the contest, as they lose by the eventual final score.

Gentzler and Romeo finished the night with one goal apiece, where goalie Matt Schneider ended with 27 saves between the pipes.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Brockport hosts Geneseo Friday

The first semester closes out this Friday when Brockport hosts our biggest rival -- Geneseo -- for a 7:00 match-up that is certain to be hard fought.

Geneseo is 7-3-1 while being 5-2-1 in conference. They are ranked #8 in the latest USCHO poll. They have allowed the 18th fewest goals-per-game in the country (only 2.09) while scoring at a clip of 4.00 goals-per-game (11th in the country).

Junior goalie Devin McDonald is showing the form of his freshman year, when he helped take the team to the Frozen Four. He has a .922 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average.

In front of him are forwards and playmaking blueliners who spread the wealth -- 7 players have at least 3 goals, led by sophomores Conlan Keenan (9 goals) and Tyson Empey (8 goals). Two other sophomores already have double-digit assists -- forward Andrew Romano and defenseman Duggie Lagrone.

They are the team to beat in the SUNYAC and will be for at least a few seasons -- those are some talented second year players.

This will be an exciting game because of that -- and because of the bad blood this rivalry holds.

Hockey alumnus now Brockport's police chief

Mark Cuzzupoli -- who played hockey for the Golden Eagles -- has been named the next Chief of Police for the village of Brockport.

Here is the D&C's report:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jeff Meredith picks up 400th win

Fredonia coach Jeff Meredith is a Brockport graduate and an all-around nice guy. Last week, he secured his 400th win. The Observer offers this report and interview about Meredith's hockey career:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Oswego beats Brockport

The College at Brockport drops a tough State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) matchup against No. 5 /7 ranked Oswego Sate Saturday evening by a final score of 3-0. The Golden Eagles fall to 6-4-1 (3-2-1) on the season, where the Lakers jump to 6-1-1 (4-0-1).

Brockport found some trouble early in the first period on an Oswego power play within the first few minutes of play. The Golden Eagles penalty kill has had much success this season only allowing two goals all season, and continued their defensive statement by shutting out the Lakers on their first opportunity. The Green and Gold found their first scoring opportunity with a power play 12 minutes into the period. Tim Kielich and Zac Sikich ripped two shots a piece throughout the man-advantage but were unable to convert to keep the game scoreless in the first.

Brockport trailed early as the Lakers took a one goal advantage five minutes into the second period. The Golden Eagles found themselves on the power play in the 11th minute, but the Oswego penalty kill locked down and only allowed one shot. Moments later, Doc Gentzler carried the puck down the ride side of the boards into the offensive third and put a shot on net, to have Ethan Solat there to smack the puck out the air wide of the net. Both teams battled it out for the remainder of the second but the score remained in favor the Lakers, 1-0, heading into the final period.

The Green and Gold opened the third period earning a power play opportunity, but could not convert the three shots they took. The deficit grew for Brockport as Oswego tallied another goal shortly after the power play end. After two costly penalties for the Golden Eagles they were forced to play the last seven of the nine minutes remaining a man down. Once again, the Brockport penalty kill unit was successful and deterred any offensive threats by Oswego. The best scoring chance in the third was on a breakout pass to Shane Visnick after serving his penalty. He stepped onto the ice and received an across ice pass to have a one-on-one with the goalie, in which he could not convert. The game ended with Oswego tallying an empty net goal with time expiring to beat Brockport by a final score of 3-0.
Goaltender Matt Schneider finished the game with 23 saves in between the pipes.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Brockport beats Cortland

The College at Brockport ice hockey team defeated conference foe SUNY Cortland Friday evening by a final score of 3-1. The Golden Eagles move to 6-3-1 on the year, where the Red Dragons fall to 3-7.

Both teams went toe-to-toe in the first period but it was David Horan for the Green and Gold to get the scoring started in the 11th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Ryan Romeo hit Dylan Shapiro with a pass and crossed the blue line into the offense third, where he found a trailing Horan who ripped the shot passed the goalie. Brockport doubled their lead moments later when Shapiro collected a loose puck in front of the net, which he buried into the back of the goal. The Golden Eagles were tested late in the period on a Cortland power play, but goaltender Matt Schneider saved all shots on frame to keep the score 2-0 heading into the first break.

Brockport's lead was cut in the 10th minute of the second period when Cortland tallied their first goal of the game to bring the score to 2-1. The Green and Gold's offense picked up the pace and dominated the next seven minutes of play, which resulted in another Shapiro goal to extend the lead to 3-1. Aidan Verbeke carried the puck across the ice and took a shot on frame to have the rebound go right to Shapiro on the far side to then score on the open net.  Brockport had another scoring opportunity late in the second on the power play, but could not convert as the score stayed the same heading into the final period.

The Golden Eagles found some trouble early in the third period when Cortland was award a penalty shot opportunity. The Red Dragon player tried to deke Schneider to the right but was unsuccessful as the puck was poked away. Brockport played lock-down defense for the remainder of the period fending off two Cortland power plays to win the contest by the eventual score.

Shapiro led the offense for the Golden Eagles as he accounted for two goals and one assist, where Horan finished with one goal and Romeo dished out one assist. Schneider finished the contest with 26 saves in between the pipes.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Kielich is Brockport Athlete of the Week

Tim Kielich has been selected as Brockport's Athlete of the Week. He led the offense this past weekend for the Golden Eagles at the WYSB / Catamount Radio Invitational, as he tallied up two goals, three assists, and a plus-two on ice over the course of two games. He dished out three assists in the 5-3 win over Tufts University, and accounted for the first two goals, with one being on the power play, in the 4-3 lose against Castleton. With his excellent play throughout the course of the weekend he was named to the All-Tournament team.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Castleton claims Thanksgiving tournament with win over Brockport

The College at Brockport ice hockey team lost in the championship game of the WYSB / Catamount Ratio Invitational against Castleton University, 4-3. The Golden Eagles fall to 5-3-1 on the year, where the Spartans move to 4-5.

Brockport started hot as Tim Kielich notched the first goal of the contest 19 seconds into the first period. After a faceoff win, Kielich carried the puck across the ice to have a one-on-one with the goaltender and beat him near post. The lead was double six minutes later on the power play, when Kielich received a pass from Aidan Verbeke and ripped a shot past the goalie from the top of the right-side circle. The scoring onslaught continued when Verbeke scored the third goal in the first period, when he collected a rebound off a Connor Hutchins shot and buried the puck into the back of the net.

Brockport came out stumbling in the second period when Castleton tallied two quick goals in the first four minutes of play to trail by one goal, 3-2. The Golden Eagles added another goal late in period but after a referee review, the goal was disallowed to keep the same score heading into the third.

The score was tied up 3-3 as Green and Gold suffer a goal on a Castleton power play six minutes into the new period. Moments later, Brockport found themselves on the penalty kill but the Golden Eagles defense stopped the offensive threat. Both teams went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the period, but it was the Spartans who tallied the go-ahead goal to lead 4-3 with five minutes remaining in the contest. Brockport fought back but could not convert any goals as they lose by the eventual score.

Kielich led the way with two goals, while Verbeke accounting for a goal and an assist, and Chris Pollini finished with two assists. Matt Schneider ended the game with 22 saves and a .846 save percentage.

Two Golden Eagles were named to the All-Tournament team with Kielich earning on a spot on the offense, as he finished the weekend with two goals and three assists. Schneider was named as the All-Tournament goaltender as he racked up 52 saves through two games.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Brockport beats Tufts, 5-3

The College at Brockport ice hockey team opened up the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational winning the first game over Tufts University Friday afternoon, 5-3. The Golden Eagles move to 5-2-1 on the year, where the Jumbos drop to 0-3-1.

The Green and Gold were the first to strike in the opening period as Connor Hutchins tallied a goal on the power play in the 10th minute with the assists coming from Zac Sikich and Chris Pollini. Brockport doubled their lead less than 30 seconds later when Sikich beat the keeper with the assists from Aidan Verbeke and Tim Kielich.

The Golden Eagles stretched their lead to 3-0 early in the second, when Connar Bass blasted a low slap shot that snuck through traffic and the Tufts goaltender into the frame. Brockport suffered their first goal against midway through the period as the Jumbos cut the deficit to 3-1. Ethan Solat for the Green and Gold responded moments later as he one-timed a pass in front of the net from Danny Rock to increase their lead to 4-1. Tufts notched another goal late in the second as the score was set at 4-2 heading into the third.

Brockport opened the new period on the power kill but goalie Matt Schneider stopped both Jumbo shots on the frame. The Golden Eagles found some trouble in the last moments of the match when Tufts pulled their goalie to give them a six-on-five player advantage. With the additional player, the Jumbos were able to find the back of the net to trail by one, 4-3. After the faceoff, Tufts once again brought on an extra skater, but this time Hunter Laslo was able to score an empty net goal to have the final score set at 5-3.

Five different Golden Eagles found the back of the net, as Kielich dished out three assists, and Schneider finished with 30 saves between the pipes.

Brockport will face the winner of the Castleton-King's College game in the championship of the WSYB/Catamount Radio Invitational Saturday, Nov. 25, at 4 p.m.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Brockport falls to Canton

The College at Brockport ice hockey team fell against SUNY Canton Friday evening losing by a final score of 6-3. The Golden Eagles fall to 4-2-1 on the 2017 season, where the Roos bounce to 2-3.

Brockport came out stumbling as the Roos claimed an early goal one minute into the first period to take a 1-0 advantage. The Green and Gold battled back for the remainder of the period to then tie the game up 1-1 on a power play goal. Zac Sikich received the puck in the corner and brought it up to the blue line, to then pass it off to Chris Pollini who made a hard pass across the ice to find Tim Kielich who was there to bury his shot in the top corner. Brockport found some trouble with time expiring in the first period as Canton scored on a breakaway to have the Golden Eagles trail going into the first break, 2-1.

The Green and Gold came out fighting in the second period as they notched their second goal on the night 12 minutes into the frame to tie the score up, 2-2. Sikich grabbed the puck in the corner who hit Tyler Williams across the ice at the blue line, to have Aidan Verbeke deflect his shot into the upper-90 over the goalie's glove.  The Roos has themselves a power play opportunity with the final two minutes of the second period, but the Golden Eagles defense kept them off the scoresheet to hold the same score heading into the final period.

Brockport fell behind early in the third period after Canton connected on a long pass to have a 1-on-1 with the goalie in which they converted to take a 3-2 lead. The Green and Gold continued to struggle as the Roos tallied another goal one minute later to extend their lead to 4-2. The Golden Eagles chipped away at the lead after Sikich scored a goal to have the score set at 4-3. Pollini received a pass at the blue line and put a shot on net that was blocked, but Sikich was there to collect the rebound and beat the goalie high. Brockport conceded another two goals throughout the remainder of the third and could not recover the deficit as they lost the match by a final score of 6-3.

Sikich led the offense with a goal and two assists, while Verbeke and Kielich tallied a goal apiece. Matt Schneider finished the game with 23 saves and a .821 save percentage.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Brockport heads to Canton Friday

Brockport is taking a trip to the North Country this Friday as they head to Canton to take on the Kangaroos. One day soon, Canton will become a part of the SUNYAC. In the meantime, this stands as a non-conference game.

Canton is 1-3-0 on the season, but don't let that mislead you. They beat Plattsburgh and almost pulled off an upset of Oswego last weekend.

Goaltending has been their strength this year, with their Number One Mike Cerasuolo sporting a .918 save percentage while back-up Austin Washkurak has a .925. On average, they have faced 38 shots a game.

The offense has yet to hit its stride this year. All their goals have been scored by only 4 players. Josh Sova leads them all with 3 goals.

It will be a good tune-up for Brockport heading into the Thanksgiving tournament weekend.

Brockport holds on to 17th place in USCHO poll

Brockport is still knocking on the door of USCHO's Top 15 rankings. Once again, for the November 13th poll, they come in at 17th place:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Schneider's performance gets kudos from USCHO

In his weekly recap, USCHO's Eastern correspondent Tom Costello handed out 3 biscuits for exceptional performances over the weekend. One of them went to Brockport's Matt Schneider:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Unbeaten streak snapped by Potsdam

The College at Brockport ice hockey team lost for the first time on Saturday against a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) opponent, SUNY Potsdam, by a score of 6-4.

Brockport now sports a 4-1-1 record and 1-1-1 in conference play. The Bears move to 4-1-1 on the year and 1-1-0 in SUNYAC competition.

The Golden Eagles got on the board first in the first period as Dylan Shapiro netted his third goal of the young season 3:27 into the frame. The lead was short lived however, as Brockport witnessed three unanswered goals land in the back of their net. As the horn sounded for the first intermission, the Green and Gold were down 3-1.

The second period saw the gap increase as Potsdam netted two more goals, to bring the score to 5-1. The fifth goal forced the hand of head coach Brian Dickinson and he made a goalie switch to bring in Matt Schneider in relief of Jake Moore. Schneider was immediately tested, but kept the Bears off the board the remainder of the period, making seven saves.

Brockport picked up their play in the final period of the game after Potsdam sixth-goal. In a matter of 30 seconds Danny Rock and Aidan Verbeke each netted a puck. Rock's goal came unassisted and Verbeke scored on a power play thanks to assists by Connor Hutchins and Hunter Laslo. Shane Visnick kept the run going, knocking in the team's third straight goal to cut the deficit to 6-4. Unfortunately, the team's comeback fell short and they suffered their first loss of the season.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sikich is playing at another level

It's fun to watch Zac Sikich play. There's a reason he already has 6 goals on the season: His motor doesn't stop. He's a finisher. Consider his second goal last night: The whole world stopped for a second when Verbeke's shot rang off the post -- Sikich didn't and he scored on the rebound. He can score with flash, he can score with hard work.

Brockport beats #14 Plattsburgh

The College at Brockport ice hockey team remained unbeaten in 2017 with a dominant 5-2 victory over No. 14 Plattsburgh State on Friday evening. The team, which was receiving 10 votes in the latest USCHO Top-15 poll, moves to 4-0-1 on the season, including a 2-0-1 mark in conference play.

The opening period of this game was a defensive battle, as neither team was able to find the back of the net. Matt Schneider stopped all eight shots he faced in the frame, including a pair of saves on a late power play opportunity for the Cardinals. The Golden Eagles had four power play chances of their own, but were unable to score despite seven shots on net.

Play opened up in the second period when Plattsburgh's Charles Barber scored just 0:50 seconds into the stanza, giving them a 1-0 lead. Brockport was quick to respond however, as just two minutes later, Zac Sikich ripped his team-leading fifth goal of the season over the goaltenders shoulder, using assists from Doc Gentzler and Connor Bass to even things up at 1-1.

Play settled down for a while after the Sikich goal, before David Horan gave the Green and Gold their first lead of the game at the 18:41 mark of the second. The senior took a long outlet pass from Hunter Laslo and burned the Cardinal defenders before sending the puck through the five-hole and into the back of the net.

They nearly added another with just seconds left in the period when Dylan Shapiro had a chance in the slot, but a great save by the Plattsburgh goaltender held the score at 2-1 Brockport going into the second intermission.

The Cardinals were not going away easily, as Rich McCartney tied the score at 2-2 just 1:36 into the third period. The Golden Eagles had the answer yet again however, as just over a minute later, Horan sent a shot toward the net that was tipped in by Laslo, allowing Brockport to regain the 3-2 lead.

Sikich extended that lead at the 6:41 mark of the third, picking up the rebound from an Aidan Verbeke shot for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season. Verbeke and Hutchins, who rank first and second on the team in points this season, each were credited with assists on the tally.

Verbeke would pick up another point with less than two minutes left in regulation, using an assist from Casey Winn to send the puck into the empty net and give the Green and Gold their fifth and final goal of the night.

Schneider has been a brick wall in net this season for Brockport, moving to 3-0 with the win. The sophomore saved 31 of the 33 shots he faced on the night, raising his season-long save percentage to .957.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Brockport holds 2 home games this weekend

Brockport is hosting two home games this weekend.

Friday's game starts at 7:00 as they host Plattsburgh.

The Cardinals are year-in-year-out one of the premier teams in the nation, a testament to Coach Bob Emery's recruiting and systems. Last week, Emery reached a major milestone, securing his 600th career victory.

They were 22-10-3 last year and 2 of their losses were to Brockport -- the first time ever that the Golden Eagles secured a season sweep of Plattie. They are 2-1-0 in this young season. Last weekend they put up 12 in one game against Morrisville.

Plattsburgh teams of recent years haven't relied on "superstars" (anyone with 30+ points) yet have reeled off the wins with depth and defense.

This will be Brockport's first major test of the season and the Golden Eagles are up for it. If Brockport wins, I'm certain they will crack the Top 15 in the USCHO polls next week.

On Saturday, the Golden Eagles have a 4:00 matinee against Potsdam.

The Bears are 3-0-1 on the season, sharing the same record as Brockport. All four games were non-conference affairs, two apiece against St. Michael's and SUNY Canton. Once again, Dylan VanderEsch is the man to watch. The senior already has 4 goals. Such firepower is to be expected by a man who has seasons of 15, 17, and 16 goals in his career.

Potsdam's goaltending has been lights out this year. Brendan McNenimen and Nate Skidmore have both started two games and their save percentages are .939 and .926 respectively.

Postdam and Brockport are evenly matched, so this will be an incredibly exciting game.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Brockport garners more attention in USCHO poll

Brockport picked up more votes in this week's USCHO Top Fifteen poll. Brockport hasn't yet broken into the top rankings, but the Golden Eagles are really close -- they picked up 10 votes which is good for 17th in the country!

Brockport lands two on weekly SUNYAC list

The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has selected the recipients for the Ice Hockey Athlete, Goalie and Rookie of the Week honors.

This weeks Men's Ice Hockey Athlete of the Week has been awarded to Zac Sikich, Brockport's senior forward from Oak Park, California. In the Golden Eagles two conference games this weekend, he led his team on the offensive end tallying three goals including a power play goal and game-winner in their 4-1 win over the Fredonia Blue Devils.

Brockport's Matt Schneider put on the top goaltending performance of the week. The sophomore from Manlius, N.Y., posted a .974 save percentage while recording 38 saves in the Golden Eagles 4-1 win over conference foe, Fredonia.

The Biased Sports Review

If you'd like to start your work week or school week with a smile, check out this Talon TV 5-minute video called "the Biased Sports Review". Hosts Ben Hoy and Cordell Cummings offer an entertaining recap of the Neumann game that offers some brutal assessments about Neumann. It's called the "BIASED Sports Review" for a reason :) 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Brockport remains unbeaten after Buffalo State game

The College at Brockport ice hockey team kept their unbeaten streak alive on Saturday evening with a 3-3 tie against Buffalo State. The Golden Eagles now sit at 3-0-1 on the season (1-0-1 SUNYAC), while the Bengals move to 1-1-1 (0-1-1 SUNYAC).

The first period of play was a defensive battle, as neither team was able to get on the board in the 20 minute stanza. The Golden Eagles had a pair of power play chances late in the period, but the Bengal PK unit held strong, keeping the Green and Gold off the board.

Buffalo State got the scoring started at the 03:13 mark of the second stanza, giving Brockport their first deficit of the young season. It didn't last long however, as Aidan Verbeke notched his third goal of the season less than five minutes later to knot the score at a goal apiece.

The Green and Gold took their first lead of the game a few minutes later in the period when Casey Winn, who's the defending Defensive Player of the Week, scored his first goal of the season off assists from Tim Kielich and Dylan Shapiro to put the Golden Eagles on top 2-1.

After Brandon McMartin got called for hooking at the 16:50 mark, the Bengals took advantage of their power-play, tying the score up again at 2-2 after Mac Wood scored his second of the game. The second period would end with the teams knotted up.

Connor Hutchins kept up the back-and-forth scoring trend early in the third period when he scored his fourth goal in as many games, with assists coming from Zac Sikich and Aidan Verbeke. The goal appeared to be the game winner, as the Golden Eagles held onto a 3-2 lead deep into the period, but the Bengals pulled their goalie in favor of an extra skater late, and tied the game at 3-3 with just 0:24 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game into overtime.

Brockport had a few quality chances in the overtime period, but some key stops from the Buffalo State goalie kept them off the board, and the game ended in a 3-3 tie.

Jake Moore ended the game with 32 saves in net for a .914 save percentage.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

WBBZ to air Buffalo Sports Hall ceremony

If you missed the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday you still have a chance to see the event and the honors given to the late, great EJ McGuire. If you live in the Buffalo media market, the entire ceremony will air on WBBZ-TV on Sunday, November 19th at 5 p.m.