USCHO's Russel Jaslow did a mid-week report for their website, looking at tonight's play-in games. Here's what he said about the Brockport-Potsdam game...
Last year, Brockport hosted a playoff game for the first time, and then won their first ever playoff game. All against Potsdam. This year, Brockport hopes to repeat history as they host their second playoff game in school history looking for their second playoff win. Once again, against Potsdam.
The Bears, however, have other thoughts. To do so, they are going to have to overcome a dismal second half of the season after having a strong midyear performance. Potsdam finished 3-8, going 2-6 in SUNYAC play. They went from a potential third place position to just barely making the playoffs.
The teams split their series this year, each registering home victories: 6-3 for Potsdam and 4-2 for Brockport.
“First game against Potsdam, we learned we did things well for 30 minutes,” Brockport coach Brian Dickinson said. “Then they did things well for 30 minutes. For the second game, it was a good college hockey game. We definitely had the better goaltender, and we played well for 60 minutes.”
Brockport will once again have to rely on Todd Sheridan (3.50 goals against average, .903 save percentage), the senior goaltender who has been the foundation for their recent success.
“He is healthy,” Dickinson said. “Played great against Oswego.”
Leading Brockport in goals within the conference is assistant captain Sean O’Malley with nine. James Cody (six goals, six assists, 12 points), assistant captain Ray Tremblay (2-11-13), and captain Justin Noble (5-7-12) will also be looked at to get the offense going.
However, it is the defense that Brockport will have to rely on as they only score 2.69 goals per game, better than only one team. They gave up 3.56, fourth best in the league.
Potsdam doesn’t have trouble scoring: 3.50 per game, fourth best in the league. It’s giving up goals where the Bears are dismal, last at 4.62.
The offense is led by captain Connor Treacy (10-18-28), Todd Hosmer (11-10-21), and Fraser Smith (7-11-18). Though the goaltending has greatly improved this year, Trevor O’Neill and Andy Groulx have still let up a lot of goals, partly due to a defense prone to mistakes.
The key to beating Potsdam? Very simple, but difficult to execute, as Dickinson explains: “We definitely got to shut down their top three — Treacy, Hosmer, and Smith. We can’t let them get loose. We have to limit their chances.”
The key to beating Brockport? Beat Todd Sheridan. The only way to do that is to get him to move around in the net. If you simply take shots from outside giving him time to track the puck, it’s going to be a long night.
“Playoff hockey is pretty much the same when you get the four and five match up,” Dickinson said. “It’s always a close game.”
To read the rest of his report and see what he thinks about the Fredonia-Morrisville match-up, go to: