Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Lip Slip: Brockport hockey team hurting in season's first half
By Andy Lipari

Brockport's hockey team has ground to make up after the first half of the season, but they have shown they can do it. They sit tied with Cortland and two points behind Fredonia in the conference standings. B-port saved its season last weekend, Saturday, Dec. 3, beating Morrisville in a game that had two desperate teams fighting for their playoff hopes.

Brockport's worst habit this season is not stopping the bleeding after giving up a goal. They play well for 50 to 55 minutes of the game, but the other 5 to 10 is what cost the team points in the standings.

Brockport could be in the middle of the SUNYAC conference if they could play a full 60-minute game, as cliché as it sounds. They should have taken two points from Fredonia in their first game this season, but four bad minutes forced the game to a 4-4 tie.

They lost to Cortland 7-5, another winnable game. Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson said he thought his team was the better team when they played Potsdam a couple of weeks ago, but a few bad minutes cost the Golden Eagles yet another game.

They could have as many as 10 points with those victories, which could put Brockport in a solid third place in the SUNYAC conference.

For some reason the second period has been a problem for Brockport this year. I can't figure out why, but they seem to come out flat in the second compared to the other two periods. Whenever Brockport's opponent has a period that catches them up or pulls them away, it has almost always been the second period.

The power play is another issue, although it has been improving. They only went 1-9 against Morrisville. They had plenty of opportunities to pull away earlier, but they didn't capitalize. They also give up too many short-handed goals.

One of the biggest surprises to me so far this year is the improvement of goaltender Oliver Wren. Last season he was splitting time with Joe Reagan because no one took a strong hold on the position. As a senior, Wren has taken the role and has seen most of the action in net so far this season.

Ian Finnerty and James Cody have a combined 37 points this season playing on the same line together. Senior captain Adam Shoff looks like he fits in well with those two on the front line, following the injury to Brendon Rothfuss.

The contribution from the younger players has been another pleasant surprise. The first line gets its points every game, but the other three lines have been able to play well so far this season. Sophomore Steve Sachman leads the younger group this season with nine points so far.

Brockport got through the tough part of their un-even schedule this semester, which leaves a home-heavy second half for the Golden Eagles. They will be at Fredonia and Buffalo State the first weekend of the second semester, but then they will have five in a row at home. If they need the last game to get in the playoffs, they finish their season at Morrisville.