Friday, January 20, 2012


The road to the playoffs begins tonight when SUNYAC play returns for the second semester. The red hot Golden Eagles – who have been beating or hanging with some of the best teams in NCAA DIII – travel to Fredonia to take on the Blue Devils.

Fredonia is 7-7-3 overall with a 2-3-3 record in the conference, so it should be interesting. Their coach Jeff Meredith (a Brockport product), said as much in today’s Observer (Dunkirk, NY): "It is great to get back into the SUNYAC play. This weekend is a playoff weekend. We badly need these points to not only hang on to the sixth and last spot, but to move up and try to get a home ice game in the first round. I think that both Brockport and Geneseo are in the same boat, which should make this weekend pretty exciting."

Brockport will be facing a goaltender on a tear in Mark Friesen. He was named SUNYAC Goalie of the Week for last weekend’s efforts. He made 56 saves in two games against two nationally-ranked opponents. Friesen stopped 19 shots in the 2-1 loss to Elmira then he made 37 saves as Fredonia completed a dramatic 3-2 overtime win against Neumann. On the season, Friesen’s save percentage is 92.1 with a 2.62 goals against average.

In front of Mark is a solid team that averages 3.44 goals per game. Their Number One threat is Bryan Ross who has 25 points on the season, 1 less than our own Ian Finnerty. That speaks volumes about Ross’s skill levels. He has 8 goals and 17 assists. Also having 8 goals for the Blue Devils is Jared Wynia. In all, they have 6 players in double digits in points already.

In a tight game, Brockport comes out on top.

On Saturday, Brockport goes to Buffalo State where the Benegals will try to maintain their grip on the third spot in the conference (they are 4-3-1 in league play…and 8-7-2 overall). When last they played, Buff State demolished Brockport in a game that wasn’t so much Buffalo dominance as it was Brockport sloppiness. This Brockport team is much different than that early season mirage.

They are one of the higher-scoring teams in DIII, with the pace being set by superstar Trevor McKinney (13-10-23) and his linemate Justin Knee (8-13-21). Freshman Elijah Cohen was this week’s Rookie of the Week in the conference. Cohen netted a hat trick to defeat host Johnson and Wales Saturday afternoon.

Netminder Kevin Carr has helped buoy their efforts by sporting a .902 saves percentage to go with a 3.06 GAA. Carr is clutch, seeing his saves percentage rise to .918 in SUNYAC games. The Golden Eagles will have their work cut out to beat him and keep pace with the #1 line, but, Brockport too, has a #1 line that can produce with the best of them.

The crystal ball sees overtime in the Buffalo State affair.

The next 5 weeks should offer a great, exciting finish to the season, as Russell Jaslow notes in today’s SUNYAC report USCHO ( If anyone who is currently out of the playoff picture can get into it, I would put my money on Brockport. They seem to have gotten over the Todd Sheridan hangover, are playing good team hockey, and not afraid to apply pressure to their opponents. After this weekend, all but one game is at home, which could bode well for the Golden Eagles.