The Golden Eagles control their playoff destiny this weekend, travelling to Fredonia on Friday and Buffalo State on Saturday. If they win or tie just one of those games, the Golden Eagles host a playoff game on Tuesday. If they lose both, then there’s a very good chance that they might be visiting another team on Tuesday, depending on how all the other SUNYAC games play out. So, this weekend, just as the final weekends of the last two seasons (when Brockport was fighting to get into the playoffs), definitely has its drama.
Friday’s opponent is the most-beatable of the two. Fredonia does not look like the team of years past. They are only 5-12-5, a far cry from the successful team that at the end of last season had won 15 games in a season four years running. Coached by Brockport alumnus Jeff Meredith, they have always been dangerous under his watch: 18 seasons of double-digit win totals in his 21 year career. So, their sudden fall is kind of surprising to me.
It’s no doubt due to a cold offense. They have only 7 players with 10 or more points, only one with more than 13. They have one 8-goal scorer, one 7-goal scorer and, after those two, pretty much nothing.
Fredonia’s greatest strength is its goaltending, which is why the two teams skated to a 1-1 tie in December. Pat Street is one of the more athletic goaltenders in the SUNYAC and I’ll say he’s second-best in the league behind Todd Sheridan. Street sports a .914 saves percentage and a 3.24 GAA (the latter shows just how many shots he’s faced this year!).
Brockport is one determined team and I don’t see them settling for another tie against Fredonia…and the guys are hungering for a home playoff game. I say Brockport by 3.
Saturday looks to be a completely different game. If you like goals the Buff State match-up is your type of game. Buffalo State is 13th in the nation in scoring with 4.22 goals a game. The high-octane attack is led by forwards Jason Hill (5th in the nation with 1.86 points/game) and Nick Petriello (ninth with 1.68 points/game) and defenseman Tyler Soehner (14th amongst defenders with 1 point/game). Their brand of attack is relentless as their power play is third in the nation.
But as aggressive as their offense may be, their style of play is soft. Brockport physically pounded the Bengals when last they met, giving them a serious case of alligator arms which resulted in a 3-1 Brockport victory. If the Golden Eagles hit and check like mad again, the results should be the same.
I’ll be there Saturday with an entourage, all cheering on Brockport
If you can’t make the games, fear not. They’ll be broadcast on WBSU, on-air at 89.1 FM and online at http://891thepoint.com