Tuesday, November 9, 2010


In her weekly column for the Stylus, Cassie Negley wrote about the hockey team...

Negley's Nook: Hockey needs defense and support
Cassie Negley

The hockey team has started the season colder and stiffer than the ice they play on. First, they opened the season with a 3-1 loss against Utica. The last goal for Utica was an open-netter, though, so we'll say that's a 2-1 loss. Then the Eagles had back-to-back home catastrophes: 5-2 against Potsdam and 7-3 against Plattsburgh. That's 13 goals against in a tad more than 24 hours. They followed that up with an 8-2 loss to Morrisville.

So if you've been counting, the men's hockey team is 0-4. If it can get worse, the team is 0-3 in-conference. That puts them at ninth, or rather last, in the SUNYAC standings.

Watching the team can be frustrating. I say that because I can't think of a better word. On double-digit occasions the puck has been inches from the goal, but Brockport has been unable to get the red light going and "The Hey Song" pumping.

Brockport could score so many more goals if the team just followed up on shots. Second chances are always the best time to get a score. That's why you box out in basketball. You can get chance after chance after chance to get the ball to go through the hoop. Plus, you don't have to work as hard to get the ball back there.

And what happened to the defense? No matter how good your goalie is, you can't leave him back there alone. Oliver Wren has 142 saves so far this season. In case you're like Dory in Finding Nemo, let me remind you there has only been four games. In the game against Plattsburgh, Brockport allowed the Cardinals 56 shots. That should be closer to a game total for the combined teams.

Of the 45 top goalies in Division--III - of which Wren is ranked 40th - Wren has the second most saves by a significant margin. Most goalies have 60 to 70 saves, while Wren is seeing black pucks fly at his face during his sleep.

The team has been in this situation before, though. Keep in mind that they started last season 3-1. After three-point losses to Potsdam and Plattsburgh, the Eagles beat Morrisville 4-3 in overtime before falling to Hobart 4-1. They finished last season 14-12-1 overall and 7-8-1 SUNYAC with a first-round victory in the SUNYAC tournament.

To further help their cause, the team is playing some stiff competition. Potsdam and Plattsburgh are always tough foes. And if you glance over the DIII ice hockey leaders page at www.uscho.com/stats you'll see a plethora of players from the SUNYAC conference.

No matter how well the team is playing or how many games it is losing, fans shouldn't give up quite so easily. Even if the team can't get it together - not that I'm saying they won't, I think the team will get their act going soon - fans should still go out and support their team. Losing teams need fans more than the winning ones do, anyway.

Do you leave your pro teams when they start to fall? Bills fans still Billieve. They still wear their jerseys and stand tall. One day the Bills are going to string together some wins and see the playoffs again. Not this season, but maybe by the time I can cook some fancy-shmancy recipe without any major malfunctions.

Cowboys fans are somehow still wearing the big D and the star. They must have missed the massacre that was Sunday night, Nov. 8. Dallas mustered somewhere near 40 total yards in the first half. Again, if you have Dory-syndrome, that's the team's total yards. Not the total rushing yards of Marion Barber.

No team in the universe wants to play for an empty house. With all the hockey fans on campus, Brockport shouldn't be put in the position to - especially when the team has become used to such a rambunctious crowd.

The home opener against Potsdam had a reported attendance of 1,123. The next night against Plattsburgh, Tuttle North Ice Arena hosted a mere 680 reported fans. The slash in fans is hopefully attributed to the fact that it was Halloween weekend.

Since Halloween is only once a year, no one has any more excuses. They may not be winning now, but that doesn't mean they won't soon. And even if the team doesn't turn around its season and January rolls around with a one-win Brockport team, you can go to the games and yell at them about how much they suck. In fact, you may need to do that when the team returns home Nov. 19 if the Eagles can't get it going this weekend.