Friday, October 31, 2008


When I was at the Sabres game last night (my first one in a couple of years) they gave notice that a website has been launched for the 2010-2011 World Junior Hockey Championships. Check it out online at:

I was gung-ho about going…until I saw the price tag on the ticket information page. Tickets go on sale this November/December and packages for one seat range from $493 (all 17 games at HSBC) to $1,240 for all 31 games at HSBC and Dwyer.

Yet another reason why I'm happy to pay $25 a year to watch great hockey at the DIII level.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Brockport has an interesting weekend coming up, one that should see them pick up a win and a loss.

On Halloween they travel to the Geneva Recreational Center to play Hobart at 7:00. If you’ve seen Brockport play there before, be prepared for a change to tradition. It won’t look or feel like you remember it.

The Center used to be a real treat for the fans because it was the only outdoor rink in DIII hockey. Sure, it had a roof, but it had no walls and was open to the air. In Brockport’s 2006-2007 trip to Hobart I froze my behind off….it was only 9 degrees! Probably to make life easier for the fans and players Geneva and Hobart worked together to enclose the rink prior to last season. So, the novelty is gone.

But, the excitement won’t be.

Hobart is always a force to reckon with. Last year they were 18-2-2 and they came into this season ranked 8th on the USCHO poll. Their claim to fame is their speedy style of play. Coach Mark Taylor drafts players based on speed and puck handling ability and his teams always excel at moving the puck and maintaining control of the game. It’s a boring style of play to me (limited physicality) but it works quite well.

Hobart has a couple of young buck that Brockport must contend with. Junior Nick DeCroo had 15 goals last year and Matt Wallace had 11 goals last year…as a freshman!

Another obstacle is goalie Keith Longo. He was huge last year with a .931 saves percentage and 2.42 GAA. He shows great awareness in the crease.

Hobart was shocked in its season opener, whupped-on 4-0 by Buff State, but in the two games since they won convincingly 5-3 and 8-3. Last year they had a hard time with Brockport, so I predict yet another close and very exciting game.

But, Brockport comes up short, 4-3.

If you can’t make the trip to Hobart, you can listen in at

On Saturday the team heads to Morrisville for a 7:00 match-up. Morrisville is the doormat of the SUNYAC, having gone 5-20 last year in the first year as a conference member. They are comparable to last week’s opponent (Lebanon Valley) yet they actually have a threat in Rob Sgarbossa, a solid goal scorer. Brockport will walk away with a 4-1 victory.

Once again, the game will be available on-air at 89.1 or on WBSU’s website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


WBSU's coverage of last Saturdays' game against Lebanon Valley College is now available online as a series of three podcasts. If you want to give it a listen, go here:

Scroll down to "College at Brockport Golden Eagle Hockey". Click that red-colored text and the downloads will appear below it.

Monday, October 27, 2008


If you’ve read any of my columns you know that I’m not a big fan of New York State government.

I hate it. It’s Big Government at its “finest.” Our elected officials and appointed bureaucrats make taxes so high and regulations so extreme in New York that corporations find it impossible to do business here and people find it impossible to live here.

Now, they’re even making it impossible to make a difference here.

Just ask Todd Sheridan.

If you’re familiar with Brockport hockey you know his story. If not, here is a synopsis with some help from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Early in (2005), he had noticed "a pretty big lump" on the right side of his neck. His doctor dismissed it as a cyst or infected lymph node, but five months later the lump was still there and Sheridan's concern was growing. In April 2005, doctors removed a painful lymph node from his neck and diagnosed cancer. Doctors discovered that the source of his cancer was his tongue and performed a radial neck dissection on May 23, cutting from the chin to the ear to the shoulder, removing 72 lymph nodes from his neck and cutting out a portion of his tongue the size of a half dollar. "Originally, my doctor was pretty negative,'' Sheridan said. "But after surgery he gave me a 70 percent chance of living.''

He also gave Sheridan virtually no chance of playing hockey again. The surgery weakened Sheridan's right shoulder so severely that the thought of the goalie playing competitive hockey again was deemed ridiculous.

Well, Todd proved them wrong and played hockey anyways, excelling on the ice. The past two seasons he has set new school records for goals-against-average.

Knowing his story would resonate with people, and feeling deep sympathy for the very young cancer-stricken children he saw while in hospital, Todd came up with a great concept: Saves For a Cure.

The non-profit Saves For a Cure would collect from businesses and donors $1 for every save made by Brockport goaltenders. All of the proceeds would then be donated to the children’s cancer clinic at Strong memorial Hospital. The funds would be used to make their life - during some physically and emotionally trying times - a little more enjoyable by providing amenities and comfort.

Saves For a Cure was supposed to launch this semester. Right now it’s on hold, courtesy of New York State.

The pathway to making it a legally recognized organization in NYS has been strewn with obstacles…something none of us had anticipated. On March 12th, 2008, the very night that Todd appeared on the TV show “WNY Tonight” in the Buffalo area, he signed the certificate of incorporation. Past experience had us believing that the non-profit would be legitimate within 3 to 6 weeks.

Well, time went on with no response from the State. Finally, word came in mid-May. The Department of Education didn’t like that Todd planned to educate people on cancer, so that language had to be eliminated from the certificate.

I’m still aghast that the state believes that Todd – A CANCER SURVIVOR – has no right to talk about cancer and educate people on the disease. Amazing.

It gets worse. The Department of Health dragged their feet and in mid-July they said Todd didn’t have the right to donate money to hospitals or buy equipment like TV’s, toys, or furnishings for the kids.

Yes, you read it right: the State is against charity!

So, I sent a letter to Governor David Paterson’s office in September telling him the situation and hoping he could do something. As someone who battled physical adversity himself (blindness) he would know the significance of what Todd was trying to do. So, the Governor’s office came down on the Department of Health. From that, the DOH’s Health Council is meeting in November when it is hoped that they will drop the aforementioned ruling and allow Saves For a Cure to do the philanthropic work it was intended to do.

And people wonder why I hate New York.

Now it’s just a waiting game, hoping that they move in a positive fashion and allow Saves For a Cure to exist and make a difference.

Hopefully, in a few weeks I can report back with some good news and all of us (players, alumni, parents, and fans alike) can work together to find some donors before the season is over.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Here's what the Brockport athletic department had to say about the game..

Hockey Opens 2008-09 Season with a Shutout Victory

Junior Todd Sheridan (Edison, NY) made 18 saves to lead The College at Brockport Hockey team to a season-opening 3-0 victory over Lebanon Valley College in a non-conference game Saturday at Tuttle North Ice Arena in Brockport.

Brockport (1-0) took a 1-0 lead 2:17 into the contest as senior captain Dave McNab (Hamilton, ONT) took a pass from freshman defenseman Gregg Amato (Ocean Gate, NJ) from the point and fired a quick shot to the glove side of the Lebanon Valley goalie for the 1-0 lead. It was the first of three powerplay goals for the Golden Eagles who finished the game 3-for-12 on the extra-man opportunities.

In the second period, Amato and fellow freshman Andrew Simmons (Middleburgh, NY) worked the puck back and forth at the point before finding senior Aaron Boyer (Calgary, ALB) on the side of the net and Boyer knocked in a shot for the 2-0 Brockport lead.

Less than three minutes later, newcomer Jason Gorie (Etobicoke, ONT) poked home the third goal of the night for Brockport as he collected the rebound of a Lucas Schott (Erin, ONT) shot and tapped in the shot past the stick of the Dutchmen goalie.

There was no scoring in the final period but there were 14 penalties with Lebanon Valley picking up 10 including a game disqualification late in the game.

Sheridan finished with 18 saves including eight in the first period for his first career shutout at Brockport.

Here are some of my observations and thoughts...

* In my 16 years following the team Brockport has posted only three of them was last night! Congrats to Todd for adding that to his resume and congrats to the entire team for such a great performance last night. That was a total team effort with everyone excelling on special teams, which there was a lot of last night with 30 total penalties occurring in the match.

* I'm glad to see Chuck A Puck is back. But...a foam puck??

* Todd had 3 great glove saves, all of which got a rise out of the crowd

* Brockport dominated LVC and controlled the flow of the puck so well in the first period that it seemed like Brockport was always on their power play...yet they weren't

* The double-penalty kill in the second period was awesome...highlighted by James Cody's open-ice flattening of a LVC player (the hit of the game) and Adam Shoff laying himself out to deflect the puck, sending it far down ice

* A little girl sitting near me screamed bloody murder and broke into tears because of Ellsworth the Eagle. Sure, she was traumatized, but I had to laugh...out loud

* McNab's goal was great. You couldn't hit a wrist shot much harder or find a better place to put it

* Jason Gorrie's goal was the best of the night. It was all awareness and skill. He was really paying attention to be able to get that one. He surprised me coming out of nowhere like he did

* Boyer's goal was nice, too. Simmon's shot was rising but it would never have cleared the goaltender's pad had Boyer not given it that extra flip

* I was impressed by the "rookies". They all contributed and it was nice to see the two defensemen Amato and Simmons pick up a couple of assists each

* LVC's #19 (Brad Surdam) was a real gongshow. I can't remember the last time in DIII hockey that I saw someone who was nothing more than a goon. From him hitting one of our guys after the first period buzzer, to starting 3 "fights", to attempting to instigate other fights on 2 more occasions, to his 3 penalties....he provided nothing useful to his team

* The young lady who sang both national anthems did a great job

* The 1,500 fans in attendance were the most I've ever seen at Brockport. They could not have picked a better game to come to. Hopefully, they'll come back for more


USCHO's Russell Jaslow was at last night's game and here's what he wrote...

Brockport Shuts Out LVC On Family Weekend
by Russell Jaslow/SUNYAC Correspondent

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (Oct. 25) — Brockport completed Family Weekend by defeating Lebanon Valley College, 3-0, in their season opener thanks to three power-play goals.

The annual event started with the football team defeating Western Connecticut, 13-12, in a driving rainstorm. For those fans who made it over to the Tuttle North Ice Arena, and there were plenty of them, they dried out watching a dominating performance by the Golden Eagles.
“It was a good opener for us,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said.

It was also a grand opener for junior goaltender Todd Sheridan. Despite breaking the school record for goals against average in his freshman year and then breaking it again last season, Sheridan never posted a collegiate shutout. Until today.

“He’s obviously pretty emotional about that right now,” Dickinson said. “He’s excited about it. Our team is excited about it.”

Ironically, the thing Sheridan may not be excited about is that he only faced 18 shots. That’s because Sheridan, a cancer survivor who originally had a scholarship to Holy Cross before becoming ill, has set up a charity called Saves for a Cure. For every save the hockey team makes, a donation will be made to the Children’s Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Brockport dominated Lebanon Valley in the first period, out shooting the Flying Dutchmen, 17-8, but only led 1-0.

“They were actually relaxed,” Dickinson said of the team’s reaction after the first period. “It was the same scenario last year where we dominated but were only up 2-1 and then put them away in the second.”

The opening goal at 2:17 was scored on a perfect passing play. After moving the puck around quickly and accurately, Gregg Amato passed it across the ice to Dave McNab, parked on the outside of the left face off circle. McNab one-timed a slapshot that blasted past Rich Drazin.

It took until 9:29 of the second period for the Golden Eagles to score their second goal, but it came only 10 seconds after a power play started.

Again, Amato provided a perfect pass, this time down the middle leading Aaron Boyer. Boyer simply put his stick out to redirect the puck into the net. Both goals were also assisted by Andrew Simmons.

“Amato and Simmons are going to be really good players at this level,” Dickinson said about his freshmen defenders.

Jason Gorrie got the third power play goal the old fashioned way. He fought his way to the front of the net, and put in a rebound past an out of position goaltender. Lucas Schott and Tom Galiani got the assists.

“I thought we were pretty solid in all three zones,” Dickinson said. “We scored all of our power play goals by moving it around and moving without the puck. With the struggles we had last year, it was important to move the puck around and that gave us some great chances.”

The game got a bit chippy as many coincidental minors were called as well as some more serious penalties. Lebanon Valley’s Colin Thompson was handed a major and game disqualification for butt ending. In total, 30 penalties were called for 79 minutes.

Brockport out shot Lebanon Valley, 37-18. The Golden Eagles hit the road next weekend traveling to Hobart and then their first conference game at Morrisville.

Lebanon Valley (0-2) only has a few days to rest as they host Utica on Wednesday for their first league contest.


Saturday, October 25, 2008


In Friday's editions of the Durham regional newspapers in Ontario there were reports on the Bowmanville Eagles of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Lo and behold, in the article's sidebar was this report on Steve Seedhouse, who led another Eagles team - the Brockport Golden Eagles - in goals last year with 15 of 'em. Here's what the article says:

From the where are they now files: former Eagle Steve Seedhouse is at the University of Buffalo, doing a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry. Upon leaving the Eagles, he attended Brockport State University on an academic scholarship and played for their varsity hockey team. After his fourth year, Seedhouse, who also played box lacrosse for the Whitby Warriors, was named by the SUNYAC coaches as Best Defensive Forward.

Friday, October 24, 2008


If you're more than just a passing hockey fan you know how important the World Juniors are to the hockey culture. In Canada, for instance, the folks there get more excited about the WJ's than Americans do over the World Series.

Well, Brockport students and area residents will get a chance to experience the Championships up close and personal when the 2010-2011 World Juniors come to Buffalo.

The Buffalo News reports on this awesome news...

World Juniors coming to Buffalo
By Bucky Gleason

USA Hockey was still putting the finishing touches on the final details today, but it appears the best amateur hockey tournament in the world will be coming to Buffalo in two years.

The top governing body for hockey in the United States has scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon in HSBC Arena. It's widely believed USA Hockey will announce that the 2010-11 World Junior Hockey Championships will be held in Buffalo. The tournament runs in late December and early January.

USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer did not confirm or deny whether Buffalo was awarded the tournament when reached Friday afternoon. Buffalo Sabres spokesman Michael Gilbert declined comment. The Sabres were primarily involved with trying to bring the tournament to Buffalo.

"We're extremely pleased to be coming to Buffalo on Monday to join with the Sabres and Commissioner [Gary] Bettman on a significant announcement that will be pleasing to the Western New York community and hockey fans throughout the world," Fischer said.

Buffalo was one of three finalists in the United States looking to play host to the tournament. The other finalists were Minneapolis and Grand Forks, N.D.

The world junior championships is a 10-day tournament that features the best players in the world who are 20 years old and younger. The tournament mostly will be held in HSBC Arena with games involving smaller countries likely being held at Dwyer University on the Niagara University campus.

USA Hockey officials toured the region last month and obviously liked what they saw. The Buffalo area has been a major supporter of youth hockey and has held national youth tournaments in the past. However, this will be the first time a tournament of this magnitude will be held in Buffalo.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Looking at USCHO's preseason poll, Brockport has a handful of games against top ten teams. Plattsburgh (who the Golden Eagles play twice) is ranked second. Oswego (another two-gamer) is rated sixth. Hobart is eighth.

Rounding out the poll, Potsdam (yet another team faced twice a year) comes in at twenty-first.

To see the poll go here:


If you plan to attend March 2009's DIII hockey championship in Lake Placid be prepared to shut your mouth. Get a load of this ridiculous rule just passed in the Olympic village...

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) - Keep your hoots to yourself. At least in the Village of Lake Placid in eastern New York. The village board passed a new anti-noise ordinance that bans "hooting" on public streets after 9:30 p.m. Yelling, shouting, whistling, singing and offensive horn-honking now are also legal no-nos. First offenders can be fined as much as $250 and spend up to 15 days in jail. Repeat hooters face fines up to 750 bucks and 60 days in the slammer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Brockport opened the 2007-2008 season in spectacular fashion, beating Lebanon Valley 9-1.

Let's hope there's more of the same this Saturday, as the Golden Eagles play host to the LVC Dutchmen to start the 2008-2009 season.

Last year's game was a lopsided affair that started off disastrously for the Dutchmen with Brockport's Steve Seedhouse scoring just 26 seconds into the game. Steve finished with a hat trick and Brockport outshot the visiting team 47 to 25.

This year should be no different. Lebanon Valley's offensive output is historically very weak and they lost last season's leading goal scorer (who had all of 5 goals). On top of that, their goalies are sieves. Their #1 (Miller) ended the season with a 5.37 GAA and a .875 saves percentage. Not good.

I really can't offer a quality scouting report because their team is just that bad. But, God bless 'em...they still play hard.

I'll hazard a guess that Brockport will win by shutout (a rarity in Brockport hockey), 8-0.

The game starts at 5:00 PM, a convenient time for visitors who are in town for the College's Family Weekend or the football game that's set to end around 4:00 PM. If you can't make the game it will be broadcast live on WBSU at 89.1 FM or

The game will feature a drawing for a hockey memorabilia raffle. Info about the raffle can be found here:

See you on Saturday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Dale Budziszewski, cohost of WBSU's "the Point After" and the play-by-play man for Golden Eagles basketball has been designated as the play-by-play man for Golden Eagle Hockey! I look forward to listening to his coverage of the away games...he has proven to be a pro during the basketball broadcasts.

Dale needs your help with something new to the hockey broadcasts. In the pre-game show he'll have an interview with Coach Dickinson for which Dale would like to get some fan input by having a "Fan Question of the Day".
If you have a question that you would like him to ask, e-mail it to

You will need to include your first name and location ("Bob in Gasport" for example).

Saturday, October 18, 2008


On Senior Night last February the Brockport Golden Eagles ended the home season in a positive fashion, besting Potsdam 5-4.

But, as awesome as that win was, there was a bittersweet atmosphere at Tuttle North that night. When the seniors where recognized in the pregame ceremonies there stood a dozen players who would never again play for the Golden Eagles. Few teams can handle the loss of a dozen players, especially those as important to the team’s success as the top three scorers and both backup goaltenders and four defensemen. Their teammates and fans couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread for the next few seasons, wondering if we might be entering a prolonged period of rebuilding.

Maybe that’s why Brockport was looked at as a doormat in this year’s preseason coaches’ poll in the SUNYAC. In the poll, Brockport received a paltry 12 points, only one more than dead-last Morrisville.

Not to sound like a biased supporter of the home team, but, even with the loss of key guys like Seedhouse and Koras, Brockport is a lot better than that and will be just as competitive as they have been the past two seasons. Over that period, Brockport went to the SUNYACs in 2007 for the first time in seven years, and last year – despite their losing record – the Golden Eagles were one of the most frightening teams in Division III. Always taking the scrappy underdog role to the extreme, they put serious scares into some of the best (like Hobart and Oswego) and hung with the very best (tying then #1-ranked Elmira 4-4).

You can expect more of the same this year, with a trip to the SUNY playoffs not out of the question…and expected by yours truly.

How can I predict that with such confidence? I can because, despite the turnover, there are a lot of good holdovers from last year’s team. And, to their credit, head coach Brian Dickinson and assistant coach Mark Digby had a good offseason in the recruiting department. Brockport has a team chock-full of solid players who can all contribute and who all have the character necessary to upset the best that Division III has to offer.

Let’s take a closer look at the following four factors of a good hockey team…goaltending, defense, offense, and character.

Todd Sheridan focuses on another record-setting season

Goaltending is my favorite part of the game – and the goalie is arguably the most important player on the ice - so I always base my analysis of the success of any hockey team on how good their players are between the pipes. Brockport’s goaltending is the best in the SUNYAC, bar none. Some folks might find that statement to be upsetting …they would say Plattsburgh’s Bryan Hince is the best. I’ll agree that he’s “good” (he was the only thing that kept Plattsburgh in the DIII championship game at Lake Placid in March) but he’s not “great”. His numbers are a little exaggerated because he faces very few quality shots by having such a dominant team in front of him.

Many people agree that in the SUNYAC it all starts with Todd Sheridan. Whether using the butterfly or the occasional Hasek flop, Todd has stymied some top-notch offensive forces. In the 2006-2007 season he broke Brockport’s goals-against record and last season he broke his own record, setting the new standard at 3.22. Some colleges would scoff at that number, but you need to understand that Brockport has never been a hockey powerhouse, so that record is commendable if not extraordinary.

In the event that Todd’s groin acts up again this year, newcomer Oliver Wren is an exceptional #2. He was the starting goalie for the Oakville Blades last year, who were the OPJHL champions, so he knows the experience of big games.

Mike Gershon strives for a repeat of last year's killer "D"

Todd and Oliver get a lot of help up front from a killer defensive mindset. Half of the defensemen are still intact from last year, with Mike Gershon becoming the defense’s go-to guy after the departure of Chris Brown. Mike, Ricky Stanek, Craig Carlyle and the rest of the D had a great year last year, keeping some big time offenses at bay. Their 94 goals allowed were the lowest by the team since the mid-1970s! That’s a major accomplishment considering the Golden Eagles had 9 games against “top ten” teams. New additions the likes of Gregg Amato and Tyler Davis will ensure that this year’s crew of defensemen are just as good as last year and, with a weaker schedule, they might even break the 85-goal barrier.

Here’s what Mike Gershon has to say about continued success:

“I think that last year we really started to concentrate more on our defensive zone than we had in years past and that has continued this year. It is going to be tough when you have lost some of the defenseman that we had last year but I am very pleased with how the recruiting went this year and I think that with our strong goaltending and with our aggressive forwards it will allow the defenseman more opportunities to shut down some very good offensive teams on our schedule. And if we are to compete and reach the playoffs which I fully believe that we are, this team must break the fewest goals allowed record again.”

Tim Crowley was Brockport's best player down the stretch

Mike mentioned aggressive forwards and that’s just what Brockport has. “Relentless” may be just as fitting. Over the past few years, Brockport has appeared to be one of the best-conditioned teams on the ice, bringing it every minute of every game, always finding a second wind. It is hoped that this physical and mental focus is maintained this year, which will allow the team as a whole to chip in, making up for the huge losses of Seedhouse (15 goals), Koras (30 points), and Gordon Pritchard (26 points). With those guys gone, it may appear upfront that the offense isn’t as good on paper as it was last year, but it will still be good. With a much weaker schedule this season they’ll easily surpass last year’s goal total (85).

Tim Crowley and Sean O’Malley will shoulder most of the load and have some high expectations placed upon them. Both men were big contributors last season (11 and 10 goals on the season, respectively) and it’s not a stretch to think they’ll both be 15-goal men this year.

There’s a very good chance that Tim might post a 20-goal season if he maintains the pace he had in the second half of the 2007-2008 season. He was clutch down the stretch: During January and February when Brockport was trying to get into the playoffs, he scored 7 goals and assisted on 6 more.

Even with those fireworks, there are some big question marks hanging over the team’s offensive output, which is to be expected under such a major overhaul. Nevertheless, there is hope. Some of this year’s additions (like James Cody and Thomas Galiani) were point-a-game guys in their leagues last year – and other guys were close to that level - so they will help fill the void left by the graduates. You can’t help but think the goal-scoring will be more balanced and more consistent this year.

Here’s Tim Crowley’s analysis of the situation….

"We lost a lot of guys last year and especially forward-wise, which you cannot ignore. With that being said I think that the guys returning and the players that we have brought in, we should have no issues replacing the points that we lost. I feel that up front we have more depth than we have had compared to past years which only makes us better because of the competition throughout practice. I feel that our forwards will be a strong facet of our game throughout the season and think that there will be not much of a turnover from this past year because of the pieces we have in place."

Brockport’s greatest strengths are its character and teamwork. Some of Brockport’s players are widely known for their character: Todd Sheridan’s unexpected return from cancer is among the NCAA’s best stories, Ray Tremblay’s victory over a career-ending back injury shows serious moxie, and “rookie” Adam Shoff has been respected by fans and players alike wherever he’s played.

Unlike a lot of teams, there’s no infighting and there’s a pronounced lack of jock basket cases. They’re a cohesive lot who look out for one another and show great support for even the most part-time of role players. Many teams that bond this well can outperform more-talented (and usually dysfunctional) teams.

Quoth Todd Sheridan about the team’s makeup:

"Again we are starting the season as the underdog. I think with the team we have, we thrive under that title. With the leadership of our veterans and the energy of many of our recruits I know we will surprise people again. We have always had the ability to beat the best teams and this year we will get that extra goal to put us on top. We are a close-knit group and will beat teams that everyone, with the exception of us, think we should not beat."

That attitude - along with the on-ice performance of goaltending and defense that are above average and complemented by a plucky offense - will make the team a force to reckon with. They were last year when maybe 8 or so plays sunk their season. Eliminate those mistakes and you’re talking about a playoff team…which the Golden Eagles will be.

The Golden Eagles are also fortunate enough to be facing a weak schedule this year, their opponents a combined 143-199-24. I have their record pegged at 12-11-2 overall. They’ll still struggle against some teams in the ultra-competitive SUNYAC, but they’ll end up 6-8-2 in the conference, good enough for sixth place and a berth in the playoffs.

That’s definitely a lot better than advertised.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Here's the letter to the editor I sent to the Brockport Stylus. It should be running in the October 22nd edition:

By Bob Confer

In New York there’s one thing we know for sure: Ice hockey is a part of our culture. Almost Canadian in our ways, we follow the sport more intently (and insanely) than Southerners do their NCAA football or NASCAR. We’re not at a loss for the chance to see or play hockey here in the Empire State. We have 3 NHL teams, 4 AHL teams, and countless organizations at the minor and collegiate level. On top of that, tens of thousands of youth and adults play in leagues across the state. You could say - for players and spectators alike - that hockey is an important part of our lives.

But, being a fan doesn’t come cheaply. Sabres tickets average $52. That’s pretty expensive and a real turn-off to financially-strapped fans. Rochester Americans tickets are a lot cheaper, averaging $15 a pop. Still, in a rough economy like the one we’re, one in which you’re already facing some pretty impressive financial burdens as student, $15 is $15. It’s something you really can’t afford to part ways with, especially if you’d like to see a few games during one of our dull snowbound winters.

So, if you’re craving to watch some hockey on the cheap, you need look no further than right here on campus. When the Golden Eagles hockey team hits Tuttle North Ice Arena students can watch the games for free. Townies and alumni will need to shell out just a few bucks.

And, best of all, it’s some great hockey!

If you like the pros, you’ll love college hockey. It moves at a much faster pace and the hits and goals come in bunches. It’s not like you’re watching a bunch of bums, either, because most of the guys on the team played at some level of amateur (semi-pro) hockey in which they honed their skills and played against some of the best hockey players on the planet. You can see that in the brilliant saves by Todd Sheridan, the vicious hits by Mike Gershon, and the exciting goals by Sean O’Malley and Tim Crowley.

These guys always face the very best in the NCAA and always perform admirably. Despite their losing record last year, the Golden Eagles were one of the most competitive (and frightening) teams in Division III, scaring nationally-ranked teams like Hobart and Oswego and tying then-#1 Elmira. These guys are always in the game and play it close. Every game is nail-biter! With a style of play like that this might be the year they upset a lot of teams and make some serious noise in the playoffs.

The Golden Eagles begin their 2008-2009 season this Saturday, October 25 at 5:00 PM when they host Lebanon Valley, a team they thrashed 9-1 last year. The Eagles will go on to play another 10 home games from November through February. Make sure you get out to a few - if not all - of these games. It’s good cheap fun and some really exciting old-time hockey.

For information and news throughout the season, make sure you regularly visit


USCHO's SUNYAC correspondent Russell Jaslow really knows his stuff. I am always amazed at how well he covers the SUNYAC given the geographic size of the conference. It's difficult to follow one team as its travels take them from Fredonia to Plattsburgh...let alone having to follow an 8-team league across such an area!

Yesterday, USCHO posted Jaslow's detailed SUNYAC preview. It's a "must read", as it allows you to see the level of competition that Brockport is up against. To see the preview in it's entirety, go to this web page:,15862

Here's what he has to say about Brockport....

The great four year experiment is over. The class that Brian Dickinson brought in for a fresh start in a complete overhaul has graduated. In their junior year, Brockport made the playoffs. However, last season was a step back as they finished eighth and were the first SUNYAC victims to upstart program, Morrisville.

Despite that class graduating, Dickinson doesn’t have to start from scratch again. Over the years, through attrition and new recruits, the number of players who left was not as large. Nonetheless, new players it is.

“The word for us this season is "green" because of the number of new players we’ve had to bring in, getting used to the new system, getting them ready for the speed at this level,” Dickinson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get off to a quick start, so that we can start feeling good about ourselves.”

Gone are their top three scorers (Chris Koras, Gordon Pritchard, and Steve Seedhouse) and their top offensive defenseman (Chris Brown) as well as their occasional number one goalie, Greg Van’t Hof.

The team’s fourth scorer, Tim Crowley, perhaps their most improved player last year, is back.

“Tim Crowley started as a fourth liner as an energy guy, but worked his way up to the top line,” Dickinson said. “Last January, he was probably our best guy on the ice.”

Other players will also need to step up.

“We need Dave McNab up front to really fill a scoring need for us. He has the ability to create and put the puck away,” Dickinson added. “Sean O’Malley is also going to be someone we are going to rely on.”

Mike Gershon will be the leader on defense, but the key returning player is goaltender Todd Sheridan, who at times has been the cream of the crop in the SUNYAC.

“[Todd] Sheridan has to be the rock he has been for us the past two years,” Dickinson said. “He has looked excellent in practice and there is no sign of any of the groin injuries that plagued him in the past.”

One interesting addition is junior transfer Jason Gorrie from Plattsburgh.

“He had a really good freshman year for them, but then got injured,” Dickinson explained. “With all the success they had last year, there was no longer any room for him.

“Whole bunch of other guys who we think are going to be good, but it just takes some time for them to adjust to this level of play.”

One thing is for sure, if Brockport is going to make the playoffs again, they have to avoid playing catch up in the second semester. Their conference schedule favors the Golden Knights as they play just one SUNYAC game each of the first two league weekends.

“When you’re fighting for points in the second semester just to stay in the hunt, that takes its toll. It is key for us to get points early,” Dickinson said.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The State University of New York Athletic Conference sent out a press release yesterday concerning the results of the annual preseason coaches' poll. Plattie was selected as "the team-to-beat", which I'll have to agree with. They were awesome last year.

Our Golden Eagles were ranked barely no better than Morrsiville. I think Brockport's a lot better than that (maybe even sixth) as you'll read in my season preview in a few days. Here's the news release...

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 15, 2007
Contact: Megan McLaughlin, SUNYAC Publicist


FREDONIA, N.Y. – The 2007-08 NCAA Division III runners-up, the Plattsburgh Cardinals, have been ranked first in the State University of New York Athletic Conference’s preseason ice hockey poll. At the vote’s conclusion, Plattsburgh had 63 points, including seven first-place votes.

Plattsburgh was the 2007-08 SUNYAC regular season champion, finishing with a 14-2 conference record. They beat the defending National Champs, Oswego, 4-3 in the conference finals. The Cardinals fell to St. Norbert in the championship game of the Frozen Four.

Oswego is ranked second in the preseason poll with 58 points and two first-place votes. The Lakers finished second in the 2007-08 regular season at 13-2-1. Potsdam, which was fourth during the regular season in 07-08 with a 6-7-3 record, finished third in the poll.

The conference schedule begins on Oct. 31.

Preseason Standings
1. Plattsburgh 63
2. Oswego 58
3. Potsdam 48
4. Fredonia 44
5. Geneseo 32
6. Cortland 29
7. Buffalo State 26
8. Brockport 12
9. Morrisville * 11

* Ineligible for SUNYAC postseason play


The roster for this season is now available at the Brockport Athletics website. Visit this link:


Facebook - the Internet's premier social networking site - has an "Event" function in which events like parties, sporting events, debates, etc. can be posted in the Facebook system, to which people can be invited to and note their attendance.

I've gone and created an event listing for next week's home opener. If you have a Facebook account, RSVP to the event and invite your friends. Get the word out about the game.

Here's the link:


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Derek Andrews, a Western New York rugrat and hockey player who was in the running for Sports Illustrated's Sports Kid of The Year.

The results were announced today...and he won! You can read about it at:

Monday, October 13, 2008


Otto Isenberg is a sophomore at Brockport and a huge fan of the Golden Eagles hockey team. He attended Colgate University's opening game on Saturday and everyone there received a flier that called "A Guide To Being a Hockey Fan At Colgate University". Otto would like to see something like that flier distributed at Brockport. I agree. Sometimes the fans don't know when to cheer or how to behave.

Here's what the Colgate handout said, courtesy of Otto (I've plugged in "Brockport" where it said "Colgate")...

1) Stand up behind the bench

2) Shout! If it is quiet for a moment shout a little encouragement. Try to keep up some noise at all times.

3) Cheer. Join in cheers or start your own

4) Dont let them hear during time out. For all time outs fans should stand up and cheer for the entire time out. If enough people get into it, it should work like football fans on defenses. It disrupts the timeout and makes it harder for the coach to get his point across.

5) Some traditional cheers: "Brockport returns to full strength" is followed by "and (insert school name) still sucks". If the other team returns to full strength follow it with "they still suck"

6) Follow pep band's lead (obviously we dont have a pep band for that one)

7) Taunting is unsportsmanlike but is still part of the game. Refrain from cursing since there are children and families at the game. Refs, players, coaches and goalies are all fair game for this.

8) Taunt the goalie. "Its all your fault" after a goal. "Goalie.....sieve" pointing from the Brockport goalie to the opponent.

9) ALWAYS stand and applaud when an injured player for either team gets up and leaves the ice. Its respect.

10) Get loud at the end of the game to keep the boys motivated.

11) Win or lose stay till the end, show your support for the team

12) Bring signs

13) Cheer for the zamboni guy, they need some lovin too

14) Stand quietly for the anthems

15) Stand and cheer for Brockport, boo the opponents, when they return to the ice before the start of the period

16) Wear your school colors to the game proudly

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This Saturday the College will have its annual induction ceremony and banquet for the Golden Eagle Athletic Hall of Fame. This year's inductees will bring the HOF total to 151 members. Of the 151, there is not one representative of the ice hockey team! Why the slight? The program has created many great student-athletes over the years and some of them are definitely hall worthy.

Maybe next year we can focus on getting someone inducted from the 43-year-old ice hockey program.

In the meantime, take a look at the nomination process and forms:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Many DIII hoceky teams are supported by quite a few fans who wear their team's jersey. That's not the case in Brockport. Usually, if I wear a jersey I'm the only one in the crowd. Many people ask, "where can I get a jersey?"

Well, I found someone on the message board at who's selling a variety of college jerseys, including Brockport's most recent pre-Eagle home whites (see below). They are $165 each plus S&H.

The numbers available are: 29, 12, 15, 19, 4, 26, 5, 17, 23, 28, 27, 10"A", 16, 6, 11.

For info, contact Steve Stuart at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


WBSU, 89.1 FM, has changed its hockey broadcast schedule. The crew will be covering the following 18 games this year. If you're out of broadcast range you can catch the broadcasts live online at

I've also noted coverage in the home and away schedules in the left-hand toolbar.

Sat. 10/25 vs. Lebanon Valley

Fri. 10/31 @ Hobart

Sat. 11/1 @ Morrisville

Fri. 11/7 @ Geneseo

Fri. 11/14 vs. Platsburgh

Sat. 11/15 vs. Potsdam

Fri. 11/21 @ Oswego

Sat. 11/22 @ Cortland

Sat. 11/29 @ Castleton Tourney

Sun. 11/30 @ Castleton Tourney

Sat. 12/6 vs. Buff State

Fri. 1/9 vs. Worcester

Wed. 1/21 @ Western NE

Fri. 2/6 @ Plattsburgh

Sat. 2/7 @ Potsdam

Sat. 2/14 vs. Cortland

Fri. 2/20 @ Fredonia

Sat. 2/21 @ Buff State


Back in Fall of 2003, long before I started writing columns for the local newspapers, I was a weekly opinion columnist for the Brockport Stylus. Ocassionally I'd write about sports issues (including one that infuriated alot of people: why soccer is evil).

One column I wrote was used to rope-in more fans to the hockey games, even though there was good attendance at the time. Well, here's the column. It got me thinking about maybe writing a guest letter to the Stylus in a couple of weeks to get the fans pumped up about the season.

By Bob Confer

What could be a better way to spend a Friday night than watching someone get his face bashed in by an angry jock...or witnessing an unsuspecting soul having his head smashed into a wall…or dodging a projectile errantly launched into a crowd of you and your closest friends at 90 miles per hour?

Sound like fun?

It is!

You can witness this and more as the men’s hockey team hosts its first home game of the semester this Friday, marking the beginning of the only sport season that truly matters (I offer my apologies to the rest of Brockport athletics).

This is the time of year that Tuttle North Ice Arena becomes a veritable Wrigley Field on ice. Despite housing a team that has for years dwelled in the lower ranks of the SUNYAC, the arena is alive and electric on weekends during the fall and winter. Our bleachers are full of rabid fans showing support for what is the most entertaining team fielded by Brockport Athletics.

What draws such support?

Maybe it’s the whole feeling of being “right there”. Ice arenas are marvels of modern architecture, constructed so beautifully that you’re seated within a few feet of the battle. You get to see the hits up close. You can actually feel the checks. You can hear the various noises of war, like slapshots, grunts, and X-rated trash-talk. You’re so close to the action that you actually can, unfortunately, smell the moldy equipment and bacteria-laden jocks. Heck, there even exists the chance of getting smacked in the head by a misdirected slapshot.

Maybe it’s the brutality of hockey that attracts the masses. Besides football, no other intercollegiate sport can even be considered violent. Nothing beats the sights and sounds of a nasty check. Oh, the beauty of a well-timed hit and the limp body flattened against the plexiglass! Besides such legal violence, we occasionally receive a nice break in the action punctuated by a couple of roundhouse punches to the chin or gut of an arrogant enemy. Though not as nasty or as drawn-out as NHL fights, these fights are entertaining nonetheless and offer the best chance to witness a rumble on campus.

Maybe it’s the simplicity of hockey that brings in the spectators. To the uninitiated, hockey is limited in its strategy and rules. It’s so basic that even the most pedestrian of sports fans can comprehend what’s going on: boy hits puck, boy stops puck, boy hits boy, boy sits in penalty box. Other sports aren’t that simple. Take football as an example. So many nuances exist that the average woman who could care less about sports cares considerably less about football. Hockey, on the other hand, is so comprehensible that even your increasingly-confused grandmother will eat it up.

Maybe it’s the testosterone that attracts the fans. In recent years the attendance at Brockport hockey games has swelled to bleacher-stuffing capacity. Most of these fans - sometimes three quarters of them - are females. These chicks really dig hockey players. They arrive in bunches, often quite dolled-up, hoping to catch a glimpse of, and attract, dudes that they consider the epitome of “gorgeous”.

It may be difficult to pin down just what does attract the fans to Brockport Hockey. The point is, fans love it. Make an effort to attend either of this weekend’s games. You’ll see what the hubbub is about, and you, too, will become a diehard fan. Who knows, maybe this will be the year our boys surprise us and dominate the SUNYAC.

Go Golden Eagles!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This isn't a Brockport or DIII item, but it's good hockey stuff nonetheless. Check out this story from the Buffalo News....and vote for this young lad!

Clarence third-grader is finalist in national "Sports Kid of the Year" contest

For a “regular” kid, 7-year-old Derek Andrews of Clarence does some extraordinary things.

Struggling with a mystery ailment that is attacking his muscles, Derek nonetheless is a star at baseball — his favorite activity — hockey and soccer, and did great things for sick children and the Buffalo Zoo with money he won in a local contest. Perhaps that’s why Derek is one of six finalists in Sports Illustrated Kids magazine’s “Sports Kid of the Year” contest — and today learns if he has made it to the top four. His chances are good: In a contest that started with some 5,500 kids, he was the top vote-getter for most of the past week.

“He’s a wonderful person,” said Susan Corrie, the principal at Harris Hill Elementary School, where Derek is a third-grader.

Tricia Andrews, Derek’s mom, said the family entered him in the contest almost on a whim. Her husband heard about it from a friend and decided to enter. The couple were surprised when they learned their son had made the initial cut. As in “American Idol,” whichever contestant gets the most votes wins the magazine’s contest. Voting for the current round ends today at noon. If Derek makes the cut, as expected, voting continues until next Monday, when the top two vote-getters will be announced. The winner will be announced Oct. 13.

Votes can be cast by logging on to

Derek has been under treatment since first grade for an undiagnosed ailment that is weakening his muscles. He undergoes physical therapy as often as four times a week and is now doing pool-based therapy. Doctors have not been able to determine what the ailment is, or what caused it. His parents are hanging tough, though, just like their son.

“I can’t say it’s getting better,” his mother said. “But it’s not getting worse.”

Despite his condition, Derek made his baseball league’s all-star team, won a spot on a hockey select team and was the leading scorer on his soccer team.

Not long ago, he won a Bank of Akron essay contest called “What I Would Do With a Million Dollars.” With his prize money — about $64 — he accomplished what he had promised to do in his essay, putting on a magic show for the youngsters at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and buying food as a welcome-home gift for elephants at the Buffalo Zoo that were returning from the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

At this point, the Sports Illustrated competition is extremely tough. Derek is up against a 14-year-old girl from New York who won the Women’s Junior National Ski Jumping Championship last winter; a 10-year-old baseball, football and basketball player from Virginia; an 11-year-old Florida boy who hit 21 home runs this season; a 15-year-old female fencing champ who finished third at the Olympic Trials; and a 14- year-old boy from Iowa who is a Junior Olympics champion in track and field.

According to the Andrews family, the prizes this year include appearing on the December cover of the magazine with its athlete of the year — rumored to be Michael Phelps — as well as being the subject of a two-page story in the magazine, a ticket to the magazine’s dinner for the athlete of the year and possibly making the rounds of TV morning shows.

Derek is confident he will win. And he is unaffected by the tons of attention, especially from the media, he has received as he has made his way up the list, beating out some 5,500 contestants.
How does he feel about his success in the contest so far?

“Good,” he said.

What is his favorite thing? “Hockey.”

He also enjoys math, which he likes because — just like the sports he plays — “it’s a little hard.”

Derek wants to be either a baseball player or an astronaut when he grows up. Derek turns 8 Saturday.

What does he want for his birthday?

“To win the contest,” he said.

Oh yeah: and some Legos and a chocolate birthday cake.