Saturday, December 12, 2015


John Panetta, the voice of Brockport Hockey on WBSU, wrote this report about last weekend's games for the Brockport Stylus...

Golden Eagles Match national No. 1

In its final two games of 2015, The College at Brockport Golden Eagles men’s ice hockey team had to face the top two teams in SUNYAC: the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals and SUNY Potsdam without captain senior forward Jonathan Demme and assistant captain senior defender Jeremy DeFazio.

The Golden Eagles had a tough task facing the Cardinals, who were the No. 1 ranked team in Division III hockey according to the and polls. Without two of its captains not in the lineup, as well as several other injuries, assistant captain senior defender Chad Cummings was looked upon to lead the Golden Eagles.

“I’m just trying to fill in [Demme and DeFazio’s] footsteps right now and step up for the boys,” Cummings said.Brockport was down early, giving up a goal in the first 90 seconds of the game to Plattsburgh, but later on in the first period freshman forward Tim Kielich scored on a powerplay to tie the game at 1 – 1.

No scoring occurred in the regulation periods, with both teams coming close and getting plenty of opportunities before going into overtime.

The teams continued trading chances in overtime. Brockport had an opportunity on a powerplay and was able to get the puck inches away from crossing the line for the score. However, the overtime period remained scoreless and the Golden Eagles pulled off a surprising 1 – 1 tie at home against the No. 1 team in Division III.

“We obviously wish we would have won that game but it was good to see the boys firing on all cylinders,” Cummings said. “Even with a couple key injuries we showed up and played our hardest.”

This was Brockport’s first tie at home since Jan. 18, 2014, against Utica College. According to Head Coach Brian Dickinson, it didn’t feel like a tie.

“Although we didn’t get the win it felt like a win, as a human you just feel good when people are talking good things about you,” Dickinson said.

Brockport entered its game against Potsdam in high spirits but would hit a roadblock early in the first period when senior forward  Matt Thompson of Potsdam threw the puck directly at senior defender Chris Luker in front of the net which Luker deflected into the net.

Potsdam also scored goals from senior defender Brad Campagna and senior forward Jake Rivera before Golden Eagle senior forward Chase Nieuwendyk got through on a breakaway and scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to cut the lead to 3 – 1.

Kielich scored his fifth goal of the season to cut the deficit to one but midway through the second  period sophomore forward Dylan Vander Esch of Potsdam would make the score 4 ­– 2.

Brockport answered by scoring four unanswered goals, starting with Nieuwendyk capitalizing on a second breakaway goal in the final minute of the second period, followed by goals in less than three minutes from sophomore forward Dylan Shapiro, senior defender Chad Cummings and freshman defender Nick Palumbo, his first goal as a Golden Eagle.

Potsdam scored five seconds after Palumbo’s goal and again 35 seconds later, with sophomore defender Sean Kacerosky and senior forward Billy Pascali scoring to make the score 6 – 6.

Brockport had a powerplay toward the end of the third period but was unable to convert. Despite the Golden Eagle’s efforts, after overtime the score was still 6 — 6, Brockport’s second tie of the weekend.

Despite not winning over the weekend, Brockport had a “feel good” story during the weekend in Nick Gullo, a walk-on freshman forward described as one of the hardest workers on the team.

“He’s got the heart of a lion in there,” Dickinson said.  “He works hard every day, and got his chance last night and played well enough to get another chance in the lineup.”

Gullo even had a scoring opportunity on his first shift with the team.

“I think the whole bench was rooting for him [Gullo] there hoping he got his first shot and first goal right on that shift,” Cummings said.

Despite being a walk-on to the team, Gullo never felt like an outsider.

“These guys have welcomed me since day one since I made the team and have made the transition very easy for me,” Gullo said.

The Golden Eagles will visit University of Massachusettes Boston in the Codfish Bowl non-conference tournament, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. They return for a home game at the Tuttle North Ice Arena, Friday, Jan. 8, against Elmira College.