While the rest of the Brockport college community is off for an extended Thanksgiving weekend, the hockey team is not. They head to Castleton, Vermont for a tournament this Saturday and Sunday.
The teams playing in the tourney are Castleton, Neumann, and Becker.
Brockport plays the host team on Saturday at 6:00. The Castleton Spartans are a good team and should be able to handle the Golden Eagles. Last year’s regular season ended with a 10 game unbeaten streak which led to a 13-11-2 overall record. That late season success has not carried into this season, but it’s early for Castleton, having played only two games. They bring a physical brand of play to the ice, one that can really intimidate opponents. Their best player is Brandon Heck, who was second-team ECAC East last year. A solidly-built kid, he uses his strength and decent speed to control play. His stats for last year included 16 goals and 18 assists. Their goaltenders – Swanson and Seal - are solid and eerily similar. Look at their stats from last season: a .907 and .905 saves percentage and a 2.60 and a 2.64 GAA. How crazy is that?
If Brockport wins, they play at 3:00 on Sunday. If they lose on Saturday (which I think they will), they’ll play at 12:00 Sunday. Sunday’s opponent depends on who wins the early game (Becker vs. Neumann) on Saturday.
Neumann is the best team in the tournament. Last year they were 17-9-0. This year they are 5-4-1 which belies their success. Just look at who they’ve played: Utica, Elmira, Hobart, Geneseo (twice), and Manhattanville (3 times!). Those teams are all very good! The Knights play a very balanced game and have excelled at special teams. Like Brockport they are a young team (11 freshmen), but they do have some key senior leadership. Their scariest player is Mike Heddon. The guy has 7 goals this year and he netted 30 of them last year. Yes, thirty! Even the young guys can score of this team: freshman Marlon Gardner also has seven goals on the season.
Becker is a team most similar to Brockport and the team they are most likely to play on Sunday. The Hawks don’t have a stunning offense, but their defensive play is very good, highlighted by great goaltending. Jake Rosenthal has a .913 and a 2.29. There is really no one to fear as a goal-scoring threat.
Both Brockport games will be covered by WBSU. Listen on the air at 89.1 FM or online at www.891thepoint.com
Have a great Thanksgiving!!