The Golden Eagles close out the fall semester of play this weekend by hosting two key conference games.
Plattsburgh is Friday night’s opponent and the Cardinals are playing like they always do (spectacularly) – they are a perfect 8-0-0 with a 5-0-0 mark in SUNYAC play. They are ranked as the #1 team in the country in the USCHO polls. Last weekend they won the Primelink tournament by beating seventh-ranked Norwich 6-5. That offensive firepower is par for the course for a team that is second in the nation in scoring at 5.38 goals per game. Its defense is none too shabby either as the Cardinals allow just 2.5 goals per game.
Kevin Emmerling is the top goal scorer with 8 lamplighters while Dillan Fox has 11 points on the young season. Freshman Cole Stallard is someone who will confound Brockport now and for the next 3 seasons – he already has 5 goals while seeing action on the second and third lines.
If Brockport can break through Plattsburgh’s impenetrable blue line (they allow just 24 shots on goal each game), they might have a chance – Spencer Finney, who has started 6 games, has a .891 save percentage while freshman Brady Rouleau has a .915 save percentage. They could have their hands full against a Brockport offense that is ranked 22nd in the country.
It will be an interesting game, one certain to have a lot of fireworks.
Saturday’s game will be none too easy, either. Potsdam comes to town and they are riding a 6-1-0 record in SUNYAC play while being 6-2-1 overall, surprising many a team and hockey pundit. At one point they were the 12th ranked team in the country and now sit in 16th place on the USCHO poll. They’ve slowed up of late, going 0-2-1 in their last three games.
USCHO did a nice write-up about their 6-0 start that can be read here: http://www.uscho.com/2015/11/18/despite-6-0-start-and-national-ranking-potsdam-still-hungry-for-more/
Of course, they’ve had some strong performers on the roster from Dylan Vander Esch (8 goals) to Todd Thomas (5 goals) to Brendan McMenimen, who has been the best goalie in the conference, sporting a .930 save percentage while facing a lot of shots (34 per game). It might be that goaltending which has accounted for Potsdam’s record and it will be that goaltending that frustrates the Golden Eagles.
It won’t be easy, but I think on home ice and with a roster as deep as Brockport’s, they can pour it on the Bears and come out of Saturday’s affair with a win. They have to, as Geneseo, Buffalo State, and Fredonia are all only one game behind Brockport in the conference standings. You don’t want to enter the second semester behind any one of them.