Here are some random thoughts and observations about last night’s game…
Even though Brockport lost, this was far and away the most exciting game of the season. For them to take it to the ninth best team in the nation right till the clock hit zero… that’s some pretty good stuff. The third period was especially exciting (and it looked exhausting) as both teams skated end to end for almost the entire 20 minutes. That period exemplifies why hockey is such a unique sport to watch. Non-stop activity like that is compelling and forces you to keep your eye on the game. No other sport is like that. As a matter of fact, in comparison, one could even say that football and baseball are burdened with excessively boring moments.
This game was lacking in boring moments and it had a little bit of everything from goals to saves to drama and hitting. But, the hitting seemed to stop after the first intermission. Brockport intimidated Oswego and checked them for the entire first period, keeping them off-tempo. Mike Gershon and Ray Tremblay put a couple of guys to the ice, while the rest of the Golden Eagles made the Lakers eat the boards. Oswego became confused and they put just 9 shots on goal in the first and Brockport skated in the intermission with a 2-1 lead. But, Brockport totally lost all of its physical aggressiveness in the second and third, and never again did we see a rousing hit, which allowed Oswego to get its goal scoring machine going as they outscored our boys 4-2 the rest of the way. Had Brockport maintained it’s checking – the very core of what has made them so good this year – they could have upset Oswego.
Oswego also got by with a couple of fluke goals. Their first one hung out in the open behind Todd Sheridan for what seemed like an eternity before the Oswego forward charged the net to put it in. Todd also beat by a floating slapshot from the blueline that moved like a knuckleball.
It was nice to see Sean O’Malley get a couple of goals in the first period. All year long he’s been assisting on everyone else’s goals and not getting the fanfare he deserves as a playmaker (he now has over 20 points on the season!), so it was good to see him in the spotlight. With the first goal he worked his way to the net to beat Oswego’s goaltender Tim Potter who was grossly out of position and then he went five-hole on Potter. He started the barrage that allowed Brockport to be the first team to really figure out Potter, a DI transfer from Clarkson who was 7-0 with a 1.79 GAA since joining the team. They made him look human. Not only was five-holed once, but twice, when Lucas Schott got him, too.
Both teams seemed to put just as many shots on the crowd as they did the net. Five pucks went into the crowd and one poor girl took on the walkway took one in the shoulder. She was lucky though…it easily could have been her face or her camera as she was photographing the game. It hurt, but it could have been a lot worse.
Another gal on the walkway was talking on her cell phone and a hard slapper just missed her. Don Cherry has this to say to her and others like her who are attached to their phones:
Cortland lost last night which leaves Brockport in third, but only one point ahead of Cortland who’s in town tonight. So, tonight’s game is, as Billy Fucillo might say, HUGE! If Brockport loses, they’re out of third place and have a tough fight to get back there against Fredonia and Buff State next week. So, tonight’s game is a MUST WIN.
Russell Jaslow was at Tuttle last night and here’s his recap for USCHO.com:
Here’s what the Athletic Department reports….
Junior Sean O’Malley (Lakeland, OH) scored twice in the first period and added an assist on a goal in the third period as The College at Brockport Hockey team held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 against SUNY Oswego, ranked No. 9 in the country, before the Lakers scored three times in the final four minutes of the second period and held on for a 5-4 victory Friday night in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game in the Tuttle North Ice Arena in Brockport.
O’Malley scored two goals in the first period for Brockport (12-7-3 Overall, 6-5-2 SUNYAC) after Oswego (16-5-1, 10-2-1) had taken a 1-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game. O’Malley’s first goal tied the score at the 6:36 mark of the period and his second goal gave the Golden Eagles a 2-1 lead with six minutes remaining in the opening period.
In the second period, Oswego tied the score at 2-2 with another goal in the early minute of the period with a goal at 4:25. O’Malley and Mike Gershon (Sparta, NJ) assisted on a Lucas Schott (Erin, ONT) goal midway through the period to regain the lead at 3-2.
Late in the period, Oswego took advantage of a 4-on-4 situation and tied the score at 3-3 with 4:04 left in the period. In the final 35 seconds of the period, the Lakers scored twice to take a 5-3 lead into the second intermission.
In the third period, Ray Tremblay (Peachland, BC) scored with seven minutes elapsed in the period to cut the lead to 5-4 but Brockport was unable to score the equalized despite increased pressure in the closing minutes of the game.
Junior Todd Sheridan (Edison, NJ) made 35 saves for the Golden Eagles.