Saturday, January 29, 2011


When you see the final score of 8-6, you know there was a little bit of everything in the game.

Last night’s loss to Morrisville alternated between bouts of ugly hockey (from both teams) and well-played hockey that made for an entertaining game.

The first period and most of the second played out like good old fashioned Canadian hockey, really physical play that you don’t see too often in the NCAA. Both teams exchanged hits and checks with vigor. Over those 2 stanzas there were 6 “near fights”, highlighting how hot tempered the game was.

It all started when the hardest hit of the game – and the season – occurred 9 minutes into the first when James Cody leveled Geoff Matzel, Morrisville’s leading scorer with a clean open ice hit. Matzel was knocked out at impact and then struck his head on the ice. It was one of the more unsettling scenes of recent memory at Tuttle as he lay on the ice, out from a concussion. Upon awakening he wailed uncontrollably, a sign of true head trauma. He was carted off on a backboard. I sincerely hope all is well with the kid.

From there on, the game became chippy. The fans didn’t help. One Brockport fan continued to hold up a sign picking on Matzel for his height…well into the third period. You could tell by the looks of disdain from the Mustangs that the sign became a motivator. I found it offensive, too, but I give the benefit of the doubt that the fan didn’t know it was Matzel who was injured.

(Editor's note: Since this post, the fan emailed me with an apology that read: After reading you blog today i realized i was the one with the metzel sign i had no idea it was him.....i feel terrible. i apoligize sincerely to you if i offend you with the sign or disrespected the game that you love. It was very unintentional.

I truly appreciate his apology and I know the Mustangs will, too. One thing, though, I wish other fans in the crowd (or school administration) had given him a heads up about the sign. Heck, I, too, am guilty for not letting him know.)

The best player of the first two periods was Morrisville’s goaltender Caylin Relkoff. He didn’t face a lot of shots in those periods (17) but made nothing but extraordinary saves. With 6:42 left in the first he made a brilliant glove save on Ian Finnerty who broke loose with a short-handed opportunity. With 4:30 left in the first he had a point blank pad save on a hard James Cody shot. In the second he amazingly stopped Ray Tremblay’s wrap around attempt by diving back into the net and using the end of his blade to deflect the puck.

Scoring opened just a minute into the second when Adam Shoff celebrated his birthday with the first goal of the game when he flipped the puck over Relkoff’s shoulder, the finishing touch to a nice 2-on-1 he and Justin Noble executed.

The next 5 goals in the second were all Morrisville as they moved the puck nicely and found a way to beat Brockport’s Joey Reagan (something other teams hadn’t figured out so well), repeatedly going up on the right side. On the evening, Morrisville’s usually tame power play was a solid 4 for 11, all occurring in the second.

The second period’s final goal – with 1:08 left - was from Brockport’s Chris Cangro, making it 5-2. It was an awesome goal as Relkoff came out to cut off Cangro’s angle, but somehow Chris found the narrowest of spots through which to squeak the shot which ended up just inside the post.

Among the highlight’s of the second was the rare penalty shot as Justin Noble was tripped up on a breakaway. His penalty shot was broken up by a Relkoff pad save.

The third period was a goal-scoring battle, that saw Brockport put in 4 to Morrisville’s 3. That was attributed to focusing on what the team had been told all week in practice…go five-hole on Relkoff. The first Brockport goal was Brett Jendra’s first of the season. The hardworking soul put the puck over the pad of a splitting Relkoff. The second Brockport goal came from Brendon Rothfuss who patiently moved the puck back and forth, finally getting Relkoff to commit to one knee…Brendon then slipped it around the other leg. Defenseman Mike Baxter got the next Brockport goal, picking up and burying his own deflection. Brockport’s final goal with just over 2 minutes left made it 8-6 (and made for a wild final 2 minutes). It came from Ray Tremblay. It was nice to see him light the lamp after he missed so many games with an ankle injury.

It was a unique game, one the score of which was so unexpected coming into it. Let’s hope the offensive pressure continues tonight when the Golden Eagles take on Neumann.




Here’s what the Athletic Department reported about the game…

The College at Brockport's ice hockey team got goals from six different players, but it wasn't enough as the Golden Eagles lost a high-scoring game to Morrisville, 8-6 Friday night inside Tuttle North Ice Arena.

Junior Adam Shoff (Port Dover, ONT), freshman Chris Cangro (Holbrook, NY), junior Brett Jendra (Bolingbrook, Ill.), freshman Brendon Rothfuss (Webster, NY), freshman Mike Baxter (Bracebridge, ONT) and senior Ray Tremblay (Peachland, BC) all scored goals for the Golden Eagles (3-15-1 overall, 1-10 SUNYAC) against Morrisville.

Following a scoreless first period, Shoff staked Brockport to a 1-0 lead just 81 seconds into the second period with his fifth goal of the 2010-11 season. Senior Justin Noble (Georgetown, ONT) slid a pass from the right side of the circle into the stick of Shoff, who scored into the near-side of the net.

But Morrisville (9-7-1, 6-2-1) struck back with five consecutive goals during a penalty-filled period, as 17 penalties counting for 53 minutes were assessed during the second.

Cangro sliced the Morrisville lead to 5-2 with a short-handed goal with 1:07 left in the second period. Morrisville made it 6-2 before Jendra scored his first goal of the year 6:30 into the third period. Morrisville answered back with its seventh goal before the Golden Eagles responded with three goals over a 2:41 span late in the game. Rothfuss drew Brockport within 7-4 with five minutes remaining and Baxter made it a two-goal game with his second goal of the season, coming with 3:42 remaining.

Morrisville pushed the lead to 8-5 before Tremblay finished the scoring with his second goal of the season with 2:09 left. Brockport pulled goalie Joe Reagan (Yonkers, NY) and peppered Morrisville with shots, but couldn't draw any closer. Reagan, a freshman, stopped all 14 first-period shots for Brockport.

The Golden Eagles return to action with a 7 p.m. game against Neumann University Saturday night inside the Tuttle North Ice Arena. Brockport will sport special green jerseys as part of its third annual Saves for a Cure game.