Wednesday, February 15, 2012


James Cody will be unable to participate in what would have been the last regular season game of his career and what is certainly the most important game of Brockport’ season – Saturday’s playoff-deciding match-up against Morrisville. The SUNYAC has suspended Brockport’s leading goal scorer for that game in response to a hit levied against a Potsdam player last Saturday.

The hit in question was clean and the outcome of the collision (an injured player) wasn’t based in negligent or malicious brutality and was solely the result of a size mismatch: a 5’8” player was matched up against the larger Cody. Physics what they are, the smaller forward came out on the losing end of the collision.

Saturday’s hit was no different than any hit I’ve seen over my 19 years of watching the game at the DIII level. As a matter of fact, the Golden Eagles were known for such blue collar play in great quantity 3 and 4 years ago during the playoff years. But, the times are a changing in the SUNYAC.

Clean hits – even the hardest clean hits – are a part of the game at every level of play from youth hockey to the NHL. The league, though, seems to frown on it and is making the SUNYAC become nothing more than a non-checking league, as any hard-charging player will have to second guess his checks for fear of reprisal. If a check or open ice hit is clean, what constitutes it as being “too hard?” That’s the question all players must now deal with.

One can only assume Potsdam submitted the protest to league heads in hopes of keeping the dynamic Cody off the ice this Saturday, which could weaken the Golden Eagles and make their chances of winning a little more difficult, which gives Potsdam an edge as they fight for their playoff lives. That makes it a protest not done for what’s right, but rather one done for self-interest.