Hockey beat reporter Brandon Wood wrote this article for the Brockport Stylus...
The Brockport Golden Eagles ice hockey team had not scored a non-empty net goal in eight periods dating back to Oct. 26 against Buffalo State. They were trailing to a team at home that Brockport Head Coach Brian Dickinson thought to be less skilled than his team 1-0 after a late first period goal.
Dickinson wanted to make sure his team was not getting frustrated, and offered them words of encouragement during the first intermission.
“Hey, there’s a lot of guys who haven’t scored for a long time,” Dickinson said he told his team. “At the end of the day, we’ve just got to keep doing the right things because we feel like there’s a ‘finger in the dam’ type of effect going on. Once we get one, we can get a few.”
Dickinson was correct about his team’s ‘finger in the dam’ effect. Brockport’s offense finally came alive for four goals in the second period en route to a 5-3 victory over SUNYAC foe Cortland on Saturday night.
The first goal for Brockport (2-3 overall, 2-2 SUNYAC) came during their first power play of the game, which was a struggling unit entering the game at 1-for-19 this season. Freshman Shane Cavalieri scored his first collegiate goal after a frantic net mouth scramble in front of the Cortland net to tie the game at one.
While Cortland took the lead back on a power play goal of its own by Michael Lysyj five minutes later, Dickinson felt that this first goal by Brockport was the turning point of the game.
“We got one [goal] and it was almost like a collective gorilla went off our backs,” Dickinson said.
With seven minutes remaining in the second, Brockport tied the game again with Chris Cangro’s third goal of the season during another net mouth scramble with assists going to Troy Polino and Mike Hayward. Three minutes later, Mike Hollander put Brockport up 3-2, beating Cortland goalie Lyle Rocker glove side.
Late in the second period, Cortland captain Chris Kaleta hit Polino high in the upper body. The hit left Polino down on the ice for several minutes before eventually being escorted back to the bench by Brockport trainers. Kaleta was ejected from the game and assessed a five-minute major call for contact to the head.
Polino returned to the game during the ensuing power play and scored what would be the game winning goal for the Golden Eagles.
“It was great for them to take the dirty penalty and give us a five-minute powerplay,” Polino said. “It was nice to come out and capitalize on it and get one right away. It really swung the momentum in our favor for the rest of the game.”
Polino capped off his three-point game with his third goal of the season two minutes into the third period, giving Brockport a 5-2 lead.
Cortland scored one more goal against freshman goalie Jared Lockhurst five minutes later to make the score 5-3, but that was all Lockhurst allowed on a night where he made 28 saves. Lockhurst has made 135 saves in his first four collegiate starts, while allowing only 8 goals to opponents.
The Golden Eagles get a break from SUNYAC play next weekend as they welcome Hobart next Friday, Nov. 9 to Tuttle North Ice Arena and travel to Elmira on Saturday, Nov. 10.