Thursday, November 3, 2011


This week's Stylus also featured a column by hockey beat writer Andy Lipari...

Lip Slip: Brockport hockey shows two sides over weekend
By Andy Lipari

After watching Brockport's hockey team during the weekend, I think it's going to be an interesting season. I'm still not quite sure what to expect and the two different teams that showed up last weekend didn't sway me one way or the other.

I saw a team Friday, Oct. 28 that looked like a team that could do some damage in the SUNYAC conference. They played the type of game they need to play to win in this league. They were physical, they blocked what seemed like every other shot and Oliver Wren played great in goal. As he simply said about the defense creating lanes for him, "I see the puck, I stop the puck."

Wren was the reason the game remained tied through overtime. Since he won't take any credit, I'll give him some. He made a couple of saves in overtime where he had to range over to stop the puck from going into an open net.

Brockport played a type of game against Fredonia that would win nine out of 10 games they play. They had four bad minutes that cost them an extra point, but they looked like the better team Friday.

I don't know if Brockport was tired or sore from Friday's game, but they looked like a different team against Buffalo State. I can't say they didn't show up, because they started the way they finished on Friday. They scored first so it's not like their heads weren't in the game.

That might be why it's so puzzling watching them lose as they did to Buffalo State. Brockport didn't perform the "dirty work" they did against Fredonia and the scoreboard reflected that. It wasn't a lack of effort, but they didn't play as physically and they didn't block nearly as many shots.

I didn't think Buffalo State looked like a team that was seven goals better than Brockport, but the scoreboard doesn't lie. For the first couple of goals I found myself saying, "How did the puck get through there?" But after four or five, it's not a fluke anymore.

Special teams has been an issue early this season. Brockport is 2 for 17 on the power play and their opponents are seven for 15. Brockport has had three two-man advantages and have not converted on any of them. Those numbers will need to be switched if Brockport wants to make it back to the playoffs.

Luckily for Brockport, their next game is at Cortland. Brockport has had a lot of success against Cortland, including winning three out of four the past two years. I don't think they could ask for a better opponent to shrug this loss off.

Unfortunately for Brockport, their only remaining home game this semester is in December against Morrisville. Head Coach Brian Dickinson said they would like to have a more even schedule, but that's the hand they've been given.

The flipside of the schedule is it will be home-heavy as the games become more important. I think it's better having the schedule the way it is than having a majority of the home games early.

Brockport needs to beat Cortland this weekend because it's going to be hard to find points in their following three games at Oswego, at Geneseo and at Plattsburgh, all in a row.

We saw how Brockport is capable of playing. They just have to remember there are no off nights in the SUNYAC conference.