From the pages of the Stylus...
Hockey buries Geneseo, extends unbeaten streak to 10
I won't even waste any ink (other than this sentence) on stating the importance of Friday night's Golden Eagle hockey game. It was probably the most important game in head coach Brian Dickinson's career at Brockport.
A win would give Brockport sole possession of third place in the SUNYAC, which comes a first-round home game. A win would mark the first time that Brockport sweept the season series against Geneseo since the 1999-2000 season. Since then, the Ice Knights have gone a combined 13-3 against the Golden Eagles and swept them in five of eight years.
A victory would also up Brockport's school record unbeaten streak to 10 games, dating back to Nov. 30.
If you weren't one of the 1,000 and change in attendance, you missed one heck of a game. Brockport (11-5-3, 5-3-2 SUNYAC) scored early and surged late to block any Geneseo (10-8-1, 5-4-1) comeback, defeating their local rival 5-2.
Much like the first game between the two teams where the Golden Eagles got some lucky bounces and won 7-2, freshman Andrew Simmons benefited from a deflection to get the scoring started. Simmons' shot bounced off a Geneseo defender's skate and took a strange hop over the glove of Knights goalie Cory Gershon (Brockport's Mike Gershon's younger brother) and gave the home team the lead, with four and a half minutes remaining in the first period.
In the second period, Geneseo came out strong, if not for Todd Sheridan, the Golden Eagles probably would have lost. Sheridan made highlight-reel plays capped off by a glove save while on his back. That four-or-five-minute stretch in which Sheridan single-handedly shut down the opposition, was a huge morale killer for Geneseo.
It took Brockport five chances with the man-advantage before they could finally capitalize. With time expiring on the penalty, Cory Gershon was peppered with shots, but couldn't hold onto the puck. Ultimately, it was one rebound too many, as the scramble in front allowed sophomore Justin Noble to get free for a one-timer after freshman James Cody threw him a cross-ice pass.
Brockport would not end the period unscathed though, as Geneseo was finally able to beat Sheridan on a nice passing play, with less than two minutes remaining.
The third period was back and forth until Mike Gershon put a charge into the crowd, snapping a wrist shot off from the blue line that beat his brother, putting Brockport up 3-1. In two games against each other this year, Mike has scored in each.
Six minutes later, Geneseo's undisciplined play put Brockport onto a 5-on-3 power play. One second remained on the first penalty when Cody's slap shot beat Gershon to put the Golden Eagles up 4-1.
Just as it seemed Brockport would cruise into third place, a sloppy play on the power play allowed Geneseo to score shorthanded and make the game interesting again at 4-2.Now down two, Geneseo started to press and got caught, thanks to a sacrificing play by Sean O'Malley. O'Malley took a pass on the near boards,. When he looked up, one of the Geneseo defenders was one stride away. Instead of dodging the contact, O'Malley was blasted onto his back, but in the process, he was able to feed the puck up to a streaking Chris Berardini.
With the one defender still standing, Berardini moved in two-on-one and went 5-hole on Gershon to finish the scoring, 5-2.
Each of the players that were interviewed during 89.1 the Points' recorded broadcast mentioned how thankful they were for the tremendous crowd at the game. The student section was rowdy the entire game, booing the Geneseo pep band whenever they played, shouting the appropriate chants when Brockport scored and even displaying some impressive crowd surfing after goals.Unfortunately for the Golden Eagle faithful, they will have to wait until Feb. 13 and 14 for the next, and final, regular-season home games of the year.
Brockport's 10-game unbeaten streak will face its greatest test playing the No. 1 team in the country in the Plattsburgh Cardinals Friday Feb. 6, and the Potsdam Bears Saturday, Feb. 7.
Both games start at 7 p.m. and can check out both games live on 89.1 the point or online at 891thepoint.com.