Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Gary Efthemis posted this analysis of tonight's game at the Point After's website...

With last weekend in the rearview mirror, Brockport hockey looks forward to their second-ever home playoff game. Last weekend was a good one for the Golden Eagles, playing terrifically in a loss to #1 Oswego and then taking it to the Cortland Red Dragons 4-2. In those games, as well as the previous weekend’s game against Geneseo, we were given a preview to what we can expect from the Golden Eagle faithful.

An average of about 1,500 people showed up at Tuttle North Ice Arena for these three games. When 1,500 people cram into such an intimate setting, with Tuttle North’s capacity capped at 2,000, there’s bound to be some noise produced. The “Eagle’s Nest” certainly did not disappoint. Brockport’s student section generated cheer after cheer, chant after chant, and most importantly, momentum for their team. During the Geneseo game, they managed to completely blow their pep band out of the rink! Quite an impressive feat when they’re matched up against a well-organized band complete with drums, trumpets, guitars, etc.

Not only does the student section generate noise, but rather something else that is immeasurable. That, my friends, is momentum. Talking with head coach of the Golden Eagles, Brian Dickinson, he had nothing but praise for the fans and raved about how much they contributed to their play on the ice. He even went so far as to call them, “the seventh man on the ice.” That is the impact a whole lot of noise and chants to get inside the heads of the opponents can have.

Back to the game at hand, Brockport will be facing the Potsdam Bears in what will be their third meeting this season. In the very first game of the season these two teams met, in Potsdam, and resulted in a 6-3 win for the Bears. This result may be somewhat skewed because Potsdam had a previous tune-up game and the fortune of not having to make a seven hour bus trip to play in their first game. When the playing field was leveled just a little bit more, when both teams had ample tune-up time, Brockport came out on top by a score of 4-2.

The third time will be the charm, the time when the game counts for the most. For one team, it will mean a date to dance with one of the heavy-hitters in the conference (Plattsburgh and Oswego) and the other, a long wait until next season starts.

As far as the stats go, Potsdam scores about three and a half goals per game while Brockport manages a little over three. However, Potsdam is giving up more than a goal per game more than Brockport. Where Brockport shines, and have all season long, is their special teams.

Unfortunately for Potsdam, that is where they falter.

Only a 17.4% power-play and 76.8% penalty-kill is no match for the Golden Eagles attack either a man up or man down. Brockport blows the Bears out of the water with a 23.6% power-play efficiency and an 85.4% penalty-kill rate. This just may be the deciding factor in the game. But, there’s a reason they play the game.

Here’s to hoping the fans come out in full force and cheer, chant, and scream their Golden Eagles to a victory. If you cannot be there in person, listen to 89.1 The Point on your radio or online at 891thepoint.com starting at 6:45 for exclusive coverage of Golden Eagle hockey.