It’s that time of the year again…it’s like Christmas for hockey fans as the Golden Eagles’ home opener is this Friday at 7:00 at Tuttle North.
Visiting Tuttle North will be the Elmira Soaring Eagles. When last Elmira visited the Port in 2011 the Golden Eagles upset the 6th-ranked Soaring Eagles in what was one of the greatest hockey games in Tuttle North history (http://brockporthockey.blogspot.com/2011/12/brockport-wins-in-exciting-game-against.html) thanks to stellar performances by since-graduated Ian Finnerty and current goalie Aaron Green.
Green will look for a repeat performance Friday as he faces as team that is 2-2 and has beaten Nazareth and Neumann this season following a 10-win season (a pedestrian season by Elmira standards). Junior Josh Burnell has the hot hand for Elmira as he has already scored 3 goals in this young season. The kid had an 8-16-24 line last year and is the team’s best offensive threat. Look for more firepower from the likes of Michael Collins who had 22 points last season and has been quiet this year with just 2 points (among them an empty net goal). Big (6’3”) and fast, the sophomore has huge upside and could leave a nice legacy at Elmira.
Manning the net will be Sal Magglioco. The teams’ so-so .500 record has nothing to with this kid. His .922 saves percentage is crazy-good, especially for a freshman. He had a .910 and .949 save percentage in the last 2 EJHL playoffs, so the Brockport goal scorers (including an impressive lot of freshmen) will have their work cut out for them.
With the backing of the home crowd and a game Green in net, Brockport should come out on top, 3-1.
(Editor’s note: I know it’s sacrilegious, but you won’t be seeing me in the stands for the opener --- a rarity! I will be away for the opening weekend of deer season)
On Saturday, Brockport makes the short trip to the Finger Lakes to play the Hobart Statesmen for a 4:00 affair at the Geneva Recreation Center. Hobart is competitive (as usual) and is sitting on a 2-0-2 record. They are a force --- they absolutely manhandled Manhattanville and beat Utica.
Over the years I’ve admired their team and their A&W root beer colors as they’ve always been an excellent puck control team, no matter if their roster is built on speed or size/physicality. This year is no different….Lino Chimienti boats a stellar .924 save percentage while facing “just” 24 shots per game. His teammates have scored 14 goals, led by Robert Sovik’s 3, already matching his total from last season. Sophomore Mac Olsen is a monster – he has a 2-3-5 line, and last year, as a freshman, he was 8-14-22. He’s quick and can beat even the most fleet-footed d-men. He’s lightning in a bottle.
Hobart is a tough egg to crack – they will keep the game close in their typical bend-don’t-break manner and they will come out on top. My prediction: 4-3.