Thursday, February 17, 2011


Gary Ethemis penned this article about James Cody for the Brockport Athletic Department's website...

In the last two years, The College at Brockport's ice hockey has hosted and won the first two State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) postseason playoff games in school history, and has won more games in consecutive years than any other squad in the program's 38-year history.

While the current Golden Eagles (4-16-3 overall, 2-11-1 SUNYAC) have hit a rough spot this year following the successes of the previous two seasons, one bright spot has been the continued solid play of junior forward James Cody (Schwenksville, PA/Philly Little Flyers).

It's no coincidence that Cody's arrival on campus has helped key this recent success. Cody, who averaged a point per game in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League with the Philly Little Flyers, has been a force since arriving in Brockport.

During the 2010-11 season, Cody has elevated his game to new heights, and at one point, he ranked third in the country in goals scored, and was in the top 10 for points.

With two games remaining in the season, Cody currently has 30 points, with 16 goals and 14 assists.

“We knew he would be a pretty good player for us but quite frankly didn't know where he would fit,” said Brian Dickinson, head coach of the Golden Eagles. “The big thing for kids coming out of juniors is to respect the Division III level… James knew what the level would be and he really fought from day one to earn a spot.”

Cody scored 11 goals with 13 assists during his freshman season, narrowly edging out teammate Sean O'Malley by two points to become the first freshman to lead Brockport in points since at least the 1999-2000 season.

“It was incredible,” said Cody. “I just try and do my best with everything I do and succeed at the end.”

Thanks to Cody's offensive firepower, the Golden Eagles hosted their first-ever SUNYAC postseason game Cody's freshman year.

During an eventual 3-1 win over the Potsdam Bears, Cody showed he could score when it counted the most. In the second period, Cody knocked home the eventual game-winner, and later added an insurance goal as Brockport advanced into the SUNYAC semifinals. Facing the always-tough Plattsburgh Cardinals, Cody added a goal during the 7-2 loss.

Cody's second season with the Green and Gold proved to be another dandy, as he once again lead the team in scoring with 14 goals, 14 assists and 28 points. Brockport once again hosted a SUNYAC playoff game, and once again Potsdam was the opponent.

Fresh off the regular-season success, Cody scored two goals in the playoffs as Brockport sent Potsdam packing with a 3-0 shutout win. While Brockport fell to Plattsburgh 5-2 in the SUNYAC semis, Cody once again notched a goal for the Golden Eagles, further showing how he elevates his play in the big games.

Cody's success can be attributed to the hard working, blue-collar effort he puts into every game. His hard-nosed style has earned the respect of opposing players and coaches.

“He's such a big, strong force out there,” said Dominick Dawes, Neumann University's head coach, of Cody, who scored a goal and added an assist during a 5-3 loss on Dec. 11, 2010.

“He gets what gets out of hard work. He gets in there, gets involved, finishes his checks and for his team, I think it's a great example to set.”

The success this year can be traced to the summer, when Cody played on the same line in a summer league with former junior hockey linemates Ian Finnerty (Ardmore, PA) and Bobby Conner (Lititz, PA).

“It was a good time. Conner is an absolutely amazing passer,” said Cody. “He (Coach Dickinson) put us together for two weeks to see how it went, and it went pretty good.”

Brockport's offense, led by Cody, Finnerty, and senior Tom Galiani (Lindenhurst, NY) has flourished at times this year, and the trio lead the team in points with 29, 22, and 16 points respectively.

“Having the bond that (Galiani) has with those two is going to be hard to replace,” said Dickinson. “That threesome, from the time we put them together until today, they just know where each other's going to be on the ice.”

Cody's success on the ice has landed him national recognition and a spot among the elite goal scorers in all of Division III. Cody currently is 15th in the country in points per game (1.50) with two games remaining.

“I work hard every single game,” said Cody. “It doesn't matter if our team is doing bad or good. I'm still trying hard, trying to be the best that I can be.”

Cody also applies that “best he can be” attitude off the ice, as he tries to set a positive example for Brockport's other players.

When Cody was forced to sit out Brockport's games against Buffalo State and Fredonia after drawing a two-game suspension for a hit against a Morrisville player during the Jan. 28 contest, he didn't let that stop him from helping the team.

“(He's a) Very level-headed hockey player,” said Dickinson. “He was in our locker room in between periods offering advice and talking to us as coaches about what he saw in the stands as far as what our opponents were doing, so he knows the game extremely well.”

Upon his return to the team, Cody picked up where he left off, scoring a short-handed goal as Brockport knocked off sixth-ranked Geneseo 3-2 on Feb. 11.

The work ethic, dedication and pure skill that Cody possesses will continue to be an invaluable asset to the Brockport Golden Eagles program.

So why does he work so hard, especially this year, when the team's win-loss record hasn't lived up to the Golden Eagles' expectations?

“I love playing in front of the fans,” said Cody.