As the first semester comes to a close and the season reaches its halfway point, Brockport hosts two pivotal games this weekend. SUNYAC foes Buffalo and Fredonia come to town and both are “must win” – and “can win” -- games for the Golden Eagles.
Brockport currently sits in 8th place in the conference with a 1-3-1 SUNYAC record, a far cry from the 4th place that they had been pegged to finish the season in. The team, though, can make a huge leap in the standings and end up in 4th or 5th place if they play to the home ice advantage this weekend and continue their recent success (4-2-1 in their last six).
Buffalo State is a point ahead of Brockport in the standings and sports an overall record of 1-5-2 (compared to Brockport’s 4-5-1). The Golden Eagles certainly have a score to settle with the Bengals after getting severely pummeled by them in the playoffs last year – a 7-2 loss marred by countless odd-man rushes that showed Buffalo State at their very best offensively. It was only days after Brockport closed out the regular season by beating them 3-2.
That 3-2 game is what we are more likely to see on Friday. Graduating last year were the stellar goaltender Kevin Carr (2.57, .922) and steady playmakers Mike Zannella (7-15-22) and Dan Turgeon (12-15-27), guys who really got under Brockport’s skin for 4 years.
Goaltending has been by committee this year with freshman Ian Sylves (.859 and 6.08 in 4 games) and sophomore Mike DeLaVergne (.891, 3.88 in 5 games). The offense is still finding itself as has they have scored just 18 goals on the season, led by Anthony Beaumont’s 4 lamplighters and Taylor Price’s 6 assists. Nick Melligan is another fellow to watch out for – he excels on the power play.
Fredonia comes to town on Saturday, marking the first time their coach Jeff Meredith coaches against his son Matt, a freshman forward for Brockport. It will be interesting to see how that pans out. Fredonia is at the bottom of the standings this year, something atypical for a Meredith team. They are winless after 6 games.
Their top returning goal scorers coming into the season were Stephen Castriota (10-10-20) and Jared Wynia (11-5-16). Castriota has 3 goals on this young season while Wynia still has yet to find the back of the net – a frustration which could make him dangerous against Brockport. Leading the team this year is Taylor Bourne (4-5-9). Chris Eiserman sees the most time in goal (.887, 4.27).
Both games begin at 7:00 PM on their respective nights.