The first semester of the 2009-2010 season came to a close last night as the Golden Eagles beat WNEC by a score of 4-0. That’s their fourth win in the past five games and the second shutout since Thanksgiving. It’s a great way to end the semester as the victory puts the team at 6-6 in what has been a roller coaster first half of the season.
Things started off on the wrong foot in October. Without an exhibition game to shake off the cobwebs the team headed north on its first weekend of play to take on Potsdam and Plattsburgh, never a fun road trip. The Golden Eagles, in their first game, were stunned by the Bears 6-3, a team they beat 3-1 in the playoffs back in February. The next night they lost to then #1 Plattsburgh 4-1.
Then came a 2-3 stretch in which the team manhandled Morrisville and Buffalo State and lost to an always powerful Hobart and a surprising Fredonia team at Tuttle North. Geneseo was gamy on their home ice and hung a 2-1 loss on the Golden Eagles.
That’s when everything changed. Since then, the team has been a force to reckon with. Discounting the loss to Oswego last weekend (which is understandable given how out-of-this-world the Lakers are playing), Brockport has been sharp…really sharp…of late. They’ve played well in all facets of the game from special teams to offense to defense.
This tells us that good things are going to happen in the second semester when the Golden Eagles face their SUNYAC rivals all over again and can make up for their losses….that is, after 5 more non-conference games which will be a great warm-up.
Brockport is currently 3-5 in the SUNYAC and tied for fifth place. They are in position to claim fourth place by beating Potsdam when they come to town on January 22nd. From there, the Golden Eagles have 5 winnable SUNYAC contests which could land them in third place at the end of the season.
The best game of the year so far was the beating of Nichols, a team that won 26 games last year. In it, the team scored 5 power play goals and took the Skidmore Invitational crown. That game showed that Brockport has the ability to beat anybody. Anybody!
For a team that thrives off honest-to-goodness team hockey like Brockport, it’s difficult to determine a team MVP. Sean O’Malley leads the team with 6 goals (a lead he shares with Tom Galiani), including an OT game-winner against Morrisville and a performance in the Skidmore event that garnered him the MVP award and other accolades. James Cody has been a monster, once again leading the team in points and game-winning goals and hitting people so ferociously that 3 different players this semester have needed medical needed attention after getting rocked by him. Tyler Davis looks like a man possessed on the ice and he can be quite fearless. Gregg Amato leads all SUNYAC defensemen in scoring and is 20th in the nation among his peers. Ryan Silveira won the game against Buffalo State almost single-handedly with his hat trick. Justin Noble and Ray Tremblay have not disappointed in their leadership roles, working hard to make things happen on the ice while excelling defensively. Adam Shoff has been doing the little things that keep the team out of trouble. Todd Sheridan has been his usual slick self in goal, earning 2 shutouts in recent weeks. I could go on and on about individual performances. Let’s just say that everyone has contributed.
By the numbers, the team is 46th in the nation in scoring (an even 3 goals per game) and 38th in defense (3.33/game). The team has been well-behaved, ranking 59th in the nation in penalty minutes. When they have offended, they’ve been rock solid, having the 20th best penalty kill in the nation, keeping the puck out of the net 85.5% percent of the time. The power play makes good on 19.3% of its chances, 37th best in DIII.
All in all, a solid performance and one that is improving.
The second semester will be an extraordinary one. You have my word on it!