Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Alison Muarer penned another excellent Brockport Hockey article for this week's Stylus...

Last Saturday, the Golden Eagles Men’s Ice Hockey team headed to the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex to start the season off against the Nazareth College Golden Flyers. A bit more than a scrimmage, the game against the Flyers was a non-conference game.

The Golden Eagles play in the SUNYAC conference, and the Flyers play in the Empire 8 conference.

The game started out with a bang. Starting line consisted of all three captains, Aidan Verbeke, No. 10 and Dylan Shapiro, No. 19 on forward and Rob Hall, No. 2 on defense, with Junior Zac Sikich, No. 12 also on forward, and Sophomore Connar Bass on defense. Sophomore Cole Burack, No. 31 played goalie for the entire game.

Hall was excited to get his new defensive pair. Last year, he was paired with Chad Cummings, a senior who was also an alternate captain.

“Chad was a guy that I admired on and off the ice; I learned a lot from him,” Hall said. “Connar stood out last year as a freshman and I think he has the potential to be that type of player for our team this season and going forward. “

Brockport took the lead in the first period. Freshman Doc Gentzler, No. 13 took the first goal of the season during a power play, four minutes and 59 seconds into the game. He was assisted by Sophomore Nick Palumbo, No. 9 and Junior Ryan Kangas, No.18. Gentzler was proud to have the first goal of the season.

“It felt great to get the first one, and to be able to help contribute to the team.” Gentzler said, “It’s definitely one that I will remember.”

Early in the second quarter, the Flyers tied it up with a power play goal from Dominik Gabaj. Both teams began to lose steam, and the second period played out, the only real highlights being penalties.

The game was stop-and-go, as the referees called 21 penalties over the course of the game, 10 in the second period alone. All were minor two-minute infractions, with the exception of one 10-Minute Misconduct from Ryan Walter of the Flyers. The resulting power plays gave the game an unusual feeling as the balance of the teams were disrupted. It caught both teams off guard so early in the season. However, there was only one power play goal from each team.

The Golden Eagles got back into the swing of things early in the third period. 

Freshman Luke Bennett, No. 24, scored the second and final goal for Brockport. He was assisted by Senior Jake Taylor, N 22. Time of goal was one minute, 46 seconds into the third.

“Scoring my first goal in the first game of my freshman year was unreal,” Bennett said. “I couldn’t have been more fortunate to even have the opportunity to be on the ice as a freshman.”

Hall was also excited to see goals from the freshmen.

“It was good to see a couple freshmen in Doc Gentzler and Luke Bennett get their first collegiate goals,” Hall said. “That is huge for us especially with us being a young team this year.” 

The Flyers tied it up eight minutes later, bringing the score to two all. Penalties brought the Golden Eagles into good position, but they lacked the follow through to score again. 

Although Brockport went into overtime five on three from leftover penalties on Flyers Brandon Lane and David Powlowski, they were not able to take the advantage. They also did not allow any more goals, and the first game of Brockport’s season ended in a tie. Throughout the game, Brockport lead the number of shots on goal. Bennett is excited for the rest of the season.

“We have every piece to the puzzle and leadership from top to bottom,” Bennet said. “Chemistry is not a problem on this team. We now see exactly what type of team we have and are very excited to get after Oswego on Friday at home.”

Gentzler had similar feelings.

“We would’ve liked to get the win, but it was a strong first game that we can build off of going into next week,” Gentzler stated.

Verbeke was happy with his first game as captain overall.

“It was really special for me to be able to captain my first game and lead the guys into our first battle this season,” Verbeke said. “Coach made the announcement a few weeks ago but it doesn’t really hit you until you play a game so it was definitely a special moment for me.”

The first home game of the season is Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. at Tuttle North Ice Arena, with the Golden Eagles going against the SUNY Oswego Lakers.