Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The Brockport Golden Eagles open the season in the most unfriendly of environments to visiting teams, Utica Memorial Auditorium, home to 3,000 (yes, 3,000) fans who support the Utica Pioneers. The team regularly leads DIII in attendance. Friday is their annual “white-out” game, so you know the fans will be dressed in white and ready to rain on Brockport’s parade.

Utica pounded Brockport 5-1 last January when they peppered the Brockport goaltenders with some quality shots. Tim Coffman led the way for the Pioneers with a goal and an assist while James Cody scored Brockport’s only goal on a power play, the only 1 of 7 PP chances that they managed to succeed on.

The great game posted by Utica’s special teams units certainly cannot be matched again. It was an anomaly. They ranked 64th against the power play last year while Brockport was 12th in the power play. With the added firepower on this year’s roster Brockport should flat out beat Utica. That’s because a huge question mark for the Pioneers is their goaltending situation as not one netminder saved more than .887 of the shots he faced last year.

The January game did highlight one of Utica’s strengths, Mr. Coffman. The junior captain had a stellar season last year with 19 goals and 16 assists. Beyond his line, there’s limited firepower. Of the returning players, not one of them had a 20 point season. Sophomore Evan Chlanda is the next best scoring threat after having 9 goals.

The team is very young with 16 freshman on the roster. A freshman to watch out for is Jordan Hobaica. Hobaica played prep hockey at Northwood School after a successful playing career at Clinton High School. He totaled 57 points in his junior year at Clinton before spending two years in prep school. The coaches rave about him: "He's one we're going to count on, you're going to look to see him on the powerplay, on the penalty kill, we're going to use him in all areas and we're really fortunate to have him here at Utica College," says head coach Gary Heenan,

The game begins at 7:00 PM and is sold out. It can be heard on WBSU at 89.1 FM in the Rochester area or online at