Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This is one of the most important weekends of the season for Brockport. It’s a SUNYAC weekend, which is always important, but this one takes on a special meaning.

It’s do or die. The Golden Eagles must beat Cortland on Saturday to get back in the conference mix. If they pull off a miracle upset of Oswego on Friday, then things start to get really interesting in the SUNYAC.

An upset would be tough against the #1 team in the nation. But, it’s not out of the question. As you read in an earlier post, Oswego knows Brockport is highly motivated. Add to that recent home successes against Oswego and you’re talking about a chance. These “successes” were not wins mind you, but they were very competitive games, much unlike the blowouts that the Golden Eagles typically suffer in the Lakers’ barn. If Brockport can score some goals and the goaltender (whoever it may be) plays like Joe Reagan did against Tufts or Oliver Wren did in the season opener, then we’re talking about a game.

Don’t let Sunday’s 1-goal output scare you: The offense could wake-up this weekend. There’s always James Cody, who’s having one of the finer seasons in team history. Ian Finnerty is really gaining steam and is looking like the playmaker of old. Tom Galiani can really benefit from that and the young man looks primed for lighting the lamp. Add to that the freshmen who are just getting shaking off the scoring cobwebs (and have scored at all levels of hockey) and you have a group that could feed of an electric home crowd.

To slay Goliath, Brockport’s David must face some tough characters on the ice. Netminder Paul Beckwith got H1N1 last year and played sparingly. This season, he’s healthy and after 9 games sports a stellar .928 save percentage and 1.45 GAA. To show you how defensive-minded they are, the Lakers have permitted only 243 shots on Beckwith (an average of 27 shots a game).

Senior Justin Fox has 6 goals while Ian Boots, Luke Moody, and Paul Rodrigues each have 5. That’s a team that can score and one that can really spread the wealth. Oswego has scored 4.56 goals per game this season.

Player to watch: Not a player, but an assistant coach. Oswego’s Mark Digby, who had a fine hockey career at Brockport (playing and coaching) returns to Tuttle North, having accepted the assistant role at Oswego over the summer. He may be the enemy now, but, nonetheless, he gave us many memories as a player and, behind the bench, he was instrumental in Brockport’s two playoff seasons. It will be good to see him.

Saturday’s game is less difficult.

Cortland is just ahead of Brockport in the conference with a 3-7-1 overall record. They won on Tuesday, having bested Hamilton. But, they were pounded 7-0 by Neumann on Saturday.

They play an interesting brand of hockey to say the least. There’s certain times when they seem to turn on a switch and play really physical hockey in hopes of wearing down the competition. Whereas Brockport teams of late have been physical, they’ve always played within the rules. Cortland’s players, though, don’t mind racking up the penalty minutes. This year they already have 3 men in double-digits for minutes and last season had 10 men with 25 or more minutes on the season.

They are a low-scoring team. Last year, they had three 20-point men. Two of them are gone. Remaining is Jarret Gold who had a decent year last season with 27 points. This year he sports a 2-4-6 line. Cortland’s leading scorer is Joey Christiano with 4 goals and 4 assists. The chap to keep on eye on, though, is Corey John who in only 6 games (5 less than the rest of the team) has 7 points on 2 goals and 5 assists.

Goaltending is by committee (just as it was last year) but Dan Jewell is a diamond in the rough. He has an impressive .914 save percentage.

If you like physical hockey, this will be the game for you. It will be chock full of aggression.

Player to watch: Cortland’s Chris Kaleta. His brother is the Buffalo Sabres Patrick Kaleta and you can tell they were raised in the same household. Like Patrick, he is not known for scoring (9 points last year), but he is known for penalties. Last year he had a mind-numbing 31 penalties for a total of 92 minutes (3.68/game). This year he’s been surprisingly tame (4 penalties, 8 minutes)….how long can that last?

Both games can be watched at and heard on WBSU.

If you are planning to attend, get there early…the last home game sold out.

See you at Tuttle!