Thursday, February 2, 2012


B-port hockey: Double weekend losses freeze playoff hopes
By Andy Lipari Senior Writer; BROCKPORT STYLUS

Brockport came away without a point last weekend, in two games that could have propelled them into a playoff spot. A 6-5 overtime loss to Cortland Friday, Jan. 28, and a 6-4 loss to Oswego Saturday, Jan. 29, prevented the Golden Eagles from moving up in the standings.

After having a road-heavy schedule to this point of the season, Brockport was back at home last weekend, part of a five-game homestand.

The crushing loss of the weekend was Friday, because it was a game Brockport was expected to win and they had a 5-2 lead in the second period. With a win, Brockport would have moved up to fifth place in the SUNYAC, jumping over Geneseo and Potsdam. Both teams lost Friday.

Nick Zappia scored twice for Cortland in the first meeting in November between these two teams and he scored twice Friday, including the game-winner in overtime. When Zappia scored, the Brockport bench looked stunned as they saw a three-goal lead evaporate into a devastating loss.

The sense of shock and disappointment remained in Tuttle North Ice Arena. The normally talkative congregating area outside the locker room where family, friends and trainers meet the players after a game was quiet and bare.

A loss in overtime counts the same as a loss in regulation, which means Brockport does not earn a point for taking the game into overtime.

Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson said how important a win over Cortland would have been.

"It was an opportunity lost by not gaining any points tonight," Dickinson said. "Everyone probably had the same view that Potsdam and Geneseo would lose and we would win and we could leap over them, but we didn't play the whole 60 minutes."

The Cortland game saw 15 penalties between the two teams, including two game misconducts in the first period.

Brockport got out to an early lead in the first period. James Cody scored for Brockport on the power play slightly more than 10 minutes into the game. Chris Marinakos made it 2-0 Brockport at 15:34.

Michael Lysyj scored for Cortland nearly a minute later, and Brockport led 2-1 after the first period.

Ryan Durocher tied the game two minutes into the second period, and it looked like Brockport's second period struggles would continue. But Chris Cangro scored twice for Brockport in a three-minute span to take a 4-2 lead. Cody found the back of the net again at 13:43 to give Brockport a 5-2 lead.

Brockport's lead was cut 34 seconds later when Joey Christiano scored for Cortland. Zappia scored his first of the night before the end of the period and cut Brockport's lead to a goal.

Dickinson said his team lost focus with the three-goal lead.

"When we were up big we celebrated like the game was over, but there was a lot of hockey left," he said. "When we scored to go up 5-2, you would have thought we won the SUNYACs because there was that much excitement."

Brockport had a habit of taking a penalty and giving up a fast short-handed goal, which allowed Cortland to come back. A penalty seconds into the third period led to a Jake Saville goal for Cortland, to tie the game 55 seconds in. A penalty seconds into overtime led a power play opportunity that led to Zappia's winning goal.

Aaron Green started in net for Brockport after earning the victory against Buffalo State a week earlier. He had 32 saves on the night.

Brittan Kuhlman had 46 saves for Cortland in the victory.

The loss was crucial because points were going to be hard to come by against Oswego, the No. 2 team in the country. Cody and Sean Wallace scored for Brockport in the first period and they had a 2-1 lead after the first.

But Oswego's talent took over and it was too much for Brockport. The Lakers made it 6-2 before Cangro and Cody tacked two on late.

Next week Brockport will host Geneseo Friday Feb. 3, a game Brockport has to win to have a shot at the playoffs.