Tonight features another critical SUNYAC match-up at Tuttle North as the Golden Eagles play host to the Potsdam Bears at 7:00. Both teams are tied at 2-2 in conference play and tonight’s affair will decide between fifth place and sixth place in the league.
As if that’s not incentive enough to dominate, the upperclassmen are likely motivated by Potsdam’s finagling of Brockport’s postseason hopes last season. For those unaware:
Last February, on home ice, Brockport beat Postdam 5-3. During that game, All-American James Cody cleanly leveled a Bear against the boards, sending the kid to the ice for a few minutes. James wasn’t penalized, but a few days later Potsdam protested the hit with DIII.
The NCAA, citing the power of the hit, suspended James for what would have been his last regular season game – a game, that had Brockport won (likely with the SUNYAC MVP on the ice) would have put the team in the playoffs. Without James, the team fell to Morrisville with just 7.6 seconds left. That brought a frustrating end to the season…and the careers of a fine bunch of seniors.
Potsdam’s self-serving actions (they needed Brockport to lose the Morrisville game), left a bad taste with players and fans alike (as you can tell, I still haven’t dropped it).
So, there are some serious motivations behind tonight’s game.
What does Potsdam bring to the table?
How about a 3-2-0 record that’s seen them produce some gaudy offensive stats against conference opponents; putting up 4 against Plattsburgh, 5 against Buffalo State, and 9 against Morrisville? They will be putting a lot of pressure on Brockport netminder Jared Lockhurst, who has been raising eyebrows around DIII.
Junior Mike Arnold already has 11 points on the season and looks to be on pace to crack the 30-point barrier. He’s not afraid to take a shot and has 8 goals on the young season --- a stunning 1.6 per game. Some might say he’s playing out of his mind (he had just 13 points all last season), but I really think you’re looking at the maturation of a hockey player.
Trevor Cope has been a good linemate for him, as he sports a 1-7-8 line.
#1 goalie Austin Keiser has stopped shots at an .884 clip, good for a 3.73 goals against.
Considering all of the above it should be a great game…lots of scoring opportunities….lots of hitting…lots of emotion. Don’t miss it!