USCHO's SUNYAC correspondent Russell Jaslow really knows his stuff. I am always amazed at how well he covers the SUNYAC given the geographic size of the conference. It's difficult to follow one team as its travels take them from Fredonia to Plattsburgh...let alone having to follow an 8-team league across such an area!
Yesterday, USCHO posted Jaslow's detailed SUNYAC preview. It's a "must read", as it allows you to see the level of competition that Brockport is up against. To see the preview in it's entirety, go to this web page:
Here's what he has to say about Brockport....
The great four year experiment is over. The class that Brian Dickinson brought in for a fresh start in a complete overhaul has graduated. In their junior year, Brockport made the playoffs. However, last season was a step back as they finished eighth and were the first SUNYAC victims to upstart program, Morrisville.
Despite that class graduating, Dickinson doesn’t have to start from scratch again. Over the years, through attrition and new recruits, the number of players who left was not as large. Nonetheless, new players it is.
“The word for us this season is "green" because of the number of new players we’ve had to bring in, getting used to the new system, getting them ready for the speed at this level,” Dickinson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get off to a quick start, so that we can start feeling good about ourselves.”
Gone are their top three scorers (Chris Koras, Gordon Pritchard, and Steve Seedhouse) and their top offensive defenseman (Chris Brown) as well as their occasional number one goalie, Greg Van’t Hof.
The team’s fourth scorer, Tim Crowley, perhaps their most improved player last year, is back.
“Tim Crowley started as a fourth liner as an energy guy, but worked his way up to the top line,” Dickinson said. “Last January, he was probably our best guy on the ice.”
Other players will also need to step up.
“We need Dave McNab up front to really fill a scoring need for us. He has the ability to create and put the puck away,” Dickinson added. “Sean O’Malley is also going to be someone we are going to rely on.”
Mike Gershon will be the leader on defense, but the key returning player is goaltender Todd Sheridan, who at times has been the cream of the crop in the SUNYAC.
“[Todd] Sheridan has to be the rock he has been for us the past two years,” Dickinson said. “He has looked excellent in practice and there is no sign of any of the groin injuries that plagued him in the past.”
One interesting addition is junior transfer Jason Gorrie from Plattsburgh.
“He had a really good freshman year for them, but then got injured,” Dickinson explained. “With all the success they had last year, there was no longer any room for him.
“Whole bunch of other guys who we think are going to be good, but it just takes some time for them to adjust to this level of play.”
One thing is for sure, if Brockport is going to make the playoffs again, they have to avoid playing catch up in the second semester. Their conference schedule favors the Golden Knights as they play just one SUNYAC game each of the first two league weekends.
“When you’re fighting for points in the second semester just to stay in the hunt, that takes its toll. It is key for us to get points early,” Dickinson said.