In this week's edition of the Stylus, Brandon Wood looks at the team's playoff chances...
Captain Mike Hayward and forward Colby Spooner. They are the only two
names on the current Golden Eagles ice hockey roster who have played in
the SUNYAC tournament for the College at Brockport.
If the SUNYAC
ice hockey playoffs were to start today, Brockport would find itself
playing a postseason game for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
However, the Golden Eagles have only a one-point cushion over Morrisville for the final SUNYAC playoff spot after a 3-1 loss Friday, Feb. 1 at Geneseo.
Geneseo jumped out to an early lead just under five minutes into the game on a goal from senior Garry Childerhose, the first of his career. Brockport (5-14-2 overall, 4-8-1 SUNYAC) tied the game just over a minute later when freshman James Ryan scored his third goal of the season on the power play.
The Ice Knights kept the pressure on Brockport’s freshman goalie Jared Lockhurst and took a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes left in the first period. They didn’t look back. Lockhurst made 40 saves on the night and still boasts the fifth best save percentage in all of SUNYAC despite the losing effort.
“Jared is a very talented young goalie,” Hayward wrote in an email. “He
consistently makes huge saves game in and game out. Having a solid
goaltender back there gives the whole team confidence and reassurance
knowing he’s there to bail you out.”
The Golden Eagles had a tough time putting shots on Lockhurst’s opposition, Bryan Haude, who only had to make seven saves outside of the second period when Brockport had 18 shots on goal.
“[In the] second period I thought we were really good,” Brockport Head Coach Brian Dickinson said.
“It was chaos around the Geneseo
net. There were a lot of bodies and mad scrambles out in front. We hit a
post and we had a few two-on-one opportunities. We generated quite a
few chances and unfortunately couldn’t get one past Haude.”
Brockport has the second- worst scoring offense in the SUNYAC, scoring just 49 goals in its 21 games this season.
Geneseo made it 3-1 two minutes into the third period for the final goal of the game. With the loss, the Golden Eagles have just three SUNYAC contests remaining on their schedule.
Brockport plays two more road games in its SUNYAC schedule at Potsdam Friday, Feb. 8 and at No. 9 Plattsburgh Saturday, Feb. 9. The Golden Eagles wrap up SUNYAC play Feb. 15 at home against Morrisville, the team that kept them out of the playoffs last season.
“Everybody that’s associated with our program knows what happened in
the last game last year and that left us with a bad taste in our
mouths,” Dickinson said. “For us, a win by us over them will pretty much
seal their playoff fate regardless of what happens this weekend to us.
We’d definitely like to return the favor to them and knock them out.”
Oswego State, Geneseo and Plattsburgh have all clinched playoff births to this year’s SUNYAC tournament. The other six teams are within five points of each other. Teams earn two conference points for a win over a SUNYAC opponent and one for a tie.
Buffalo State and Fredonia have 11 points in fourth and fifth place, respectively, and Brockport currently holds the final playoff spot with nine points. Morrisville sits in seventh with eight points, Cortland has seven points and Potsdam sits at the bottom of the conference with six points.
The Golden Eagles have earned just three conference points in their
last eight conference games, but Hayward is sure that this season is the
one they will return to the playoffs.
“I know we are going to make the SUNYAC
playoffs this year,” he wrote. “It’s a very close race and it’s going
to come down to the last weekend, but everyone is on the same page. We
all have the same goal so there is no doubt in my mind that we will make
Brockport defeated Potsdam at home 4-3 earlier this season in overtime on a game-winning goal by freshman Shane Cavalieri, but has not won in Potsdam since the 2008-09 season. The Golden Eagles lost to Morrisville on the road 5-4 in their final game before winter break.