After a prolonged winter break that saw its end with the northeast road trip over the past weekend, the Golden Eagles return to home ice this coming weekend, albeit in a nearly empty Tuttle North with most students still on break.
For those lucky enough to still be around, there’s no better cure for the winter blues than a weekend of SUNYAC hockey!
Brockport hosts Buffalo State on Friday. The Bengals are a solid 8-7-2 on the season and sit in fourth place in the conference on the strength of a 3-4-1 SUNYAC record (while Brockport is 3-5). Among their highlights: a 3-0 exhibition win over Penn State’s new DI team and a 7-3 thumping of Fredonia. When they faced Brockport in October our men came out on top 4-2.
They have some very good players and their best may be goaltender Kevin Carr, who was a second-team selection for last season’s All-SUNYAC team. He might repeat that thanks to a .924 save percentage and 2.61 goals against average. He’s been a real workhorse as no one else has seen any time in the crease!
In front of him is a solid array of players. Nick Melligan has been lights-out with 21 points in 16 games. Trevor McKinney, who had 30 points last season, has a 9-6-15 line.
Their best forward this season has been the explosive Mike Zannella who already has 13 goals on the season. He looks like a league MVP.
Someone to watch out for: Drew Klin was third-team SUNYAC last season thanks to a 13-12-25 line. This year he has been pretty quiet, with a 0-5-5 line in 16 games. He’s due for a big game.
It will be a tough game for Brockport, who have had some difficulty in lighting the lamp and may not be able to keep up with the Bengals’ fireworks. A strong game from a Brockport goalie could be the difference maker, though, as Lockhurst and Green have shown brilliance throughout the season. If the Golden Eagles dabble in the lines played around with in the WNEC game, that could prove to help the team, too.
Brockport will have an easier go of it Saturday and will likely skate away with 2 points as Fredonia is only 5-11-1 on the season and stuck in the 3-5 SUNYAC logjam with Brockport and Potsdam. When last they played it was a defensive affair, the Blue Devils ending up with a 1-0 victory. Fredonia has had a season light on highlights although they did shock Elmira 4-2.
Their #1 goalie is Mark Friesen who leads the trio of backstops with a .883 saves percentage and 3.33 GAA. Their offensive output is lower than Brockport’s. Their leading scorer (5-6-11) is Matt Herr. The next point totals on the roster are 8, 6, 6, and 5 (Brockport’s top 5 are 12, 11, 8, 8, and 8). Jared Wynia is their special teamer to watch as he has 3 power play goals on the season.
There’s no reason why Brockport shouldn’t go to bed Saturday night being in sole possession of 5th or 6th place with Fredonia being out of the playoff picture (were the season to end Saturday night). To get there, though, the team must play aggressively and put a lot of shots on Fredonia’s net. Let’s hope for goals a-plenty!
See you at the Arena!!