Thursday, January 19, 2017

Brockport plays Oswego and Cortland this weekend

The winter break is coming to a close, which means the hockey schedule goes from non-conference to conference games this weekend.

Friday’s game will be a tough one. The Golden Eagles head to Oswego, which is ranked third in the nation in the latest USCHO poll. They are 13-3-0 and 8-1-0 in SUNYAC play.

As usual, the Lakers can score goals in bunches. Their top 3 lines are like a murderers’ row…their depth of skills is astounding. The roster sports 6 guys with 15 or more points. Matt Galati and Kenny Neil have 12 and 11 goals respectively. Galati is especially clutch, with 5 game winning goals and 5 power play goals.

Their great goaltending is by committee with eerily-similar results. Matt Zawadzski has a .922 save percentage while David Jacobsen has a .921.

This senior-heavy team is built for a deep playoff run. The best way Brockport can beat them is to stay out of the penalty box. Oswego has too many guys who can score and they rarely make mistakes that put them in the penalty box. A clean game is a must.  

One fellow who can make a difference in the game is Brockport’s Jake Taylor. He has been on fire of late – he has 8 goals on the season and all have occurred since Thanksgiving. He’s averaging .8 goals a game over that time while doing so with minimal shots on goal (23)...he definitely has quality over quantity. 5 of those goals have come at even strength and 1 short-handed.  

Saturday’s match-up with Cortland finds Brockport back in the comforts of home. Cortland is 8-7-1 overall and 4-3-0 in conference play. This will be a great game for the home fans to watch, because the teams are closely matched.

Cortland tends to spread the wealth with goal scoring, as there is only 1 player with more than 5 goals. And, he’s a true superstar – Darren McCormick has 14 goals. Since his rookie year, he has been a true top performer in SUNYAC.

Drew Weigman will start in goal, bringing with him a .904 save percentage.

One thing that plays to Brockport’s strength (the power play) is Cortland’s tendency to be penalized. They have five guys with more than 30 penalty minutes, including one with 58 and another with 69. That said, look for a huge game for Brockport rookie Connor Hutchins, the Golden Eagles’ biggest PP threat. Could the young man get a hatty?