Friday, February 15, 2013


In this week's Brockport Stylus there is an article by hockey writer Brandon Wood about last weekend's games as well as the playoff scenario that exists for this weekend's regular season finale...

Captain Mike Hayward guaranteed his team’s return last week to the SUNYAC ice hockey playoffs this season. However, after being swept on a road trip in Upstate New York, the Golden Eagles no longer control their own destiny.

They need to beat Morrisville at home and need a lot of help from other SUNYAC teams if they are to make the postseason tournament for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Brockport (5-16-2 overall, 4-10-1 SUNYAC) opened its weekend of SUNYAC play Friday, Feb. 8 at Potsdam, who sat at the bottom of the conference entering the weekend.

With no scoring in the first period of the game, the Eagles struck first on the power play when Chase Nieuwendyk scored the third goal of his injury-shortened season seven minutes into the second period. The Bears answered back six minutes later to even the score at one.

Shane Cavalieri gave Brockport the lead once again just 22 seconds into the third period for his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Cavalieri is seventh in freshman scoring in the SUNYAC with 13 points.

“If you had asked me back in September who would be leading the team, Shane wouldn’t have been at the top but he would have been near the top,” Head Coach Brian Dickinson said. “We brought in Shane because we knew he is a goal scorer. I think that all of our freshmen have done a great job of coming in and trying to get better.”

Brockport’s lead held up until seven minutes remained in regulation, when Potsdam tied the game at two on a goal from its leading scorer Mike Arnold.

Brockport took its third lead of the game 41 seconds later when freshman Jeremy DeFazio scored his fourth of the season to make the score 3-2 Eagles.
In overtime, the Eagles never got a shot on goal. Potsdam outshot them 4-0. Billy Pascalli scored the game-winning goal two minutes into overtime to give the Bears the two crucial conference points. Jared Lockhurst made 37 saves in goal for the Eagles.

“It’s tough to lose a game like that,” Dickinson said. “It’s heart-wrenching to give up a game-tying goal with four seconds left.”

In its second game of the weekend Saturday, Feb. 9, the Eagles faced No. 9 Plattsburgh on the road. 

Once again, the Eagles held the lead only to have it erased. Freshman Jesse Facchini scored his third goal of the season four minutes into the game, but Plattsburgh answered to tie the game one minute later.

Ten minutes later, Dillan Fox gave Plattsburgh the 2-1 lead when he beat senior Aaron Green. Green got the start over Lockhurst against Plattsburgh.

“We just felt like a night off for [Jared] would be beneficial after what happened the night before,” Dickinson said.

Green made 33 saves, including 16 in the second period when the Cardinals had their only two power plays of the game.

Brockport’s penalty kill was one of the bright spots throughout the weekend, as it did not give up a goal while shorthanded in five total kills. The Eagles have the fourth best penalty kill in the SUNYAC, stopping their opponents 81.1 percent of the time.

Plattsburgh scored the game’s final goal midway through the third period, as Brockport’s offense struggled in the last period of the game, when it managed just five shots on goal.

The Eagles have one game remaining in SUNYAC play as they host Morrisville Friday, Feb. 15 at Tuttle North Ice Arena. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. They have a game at home Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. against Franklin Pierce for Senior Night that will have no effect on the SUNYAC playoff race.
Morrisville kept Brockport from making the SUNYAC playoffs in the season’s final game last year, and has a chance to repeat that feat this season. Whichever team loses this game will be eliminated from SUNYAC playoff contention.

“You never totally forget about what happened in the past, but at the end of the day we need to focus on playing a solid game against Morrisville,” Dickinson said. “If we play with a passion like we played in Plattsburgh, we win those hockey games against any other team [in the SUNYAC] that isn’t Plattsburgh or Potsdam.”

If Brockport does win, that doesn’t mean they will make the playoffs, as Potsdam upset No. 14 Geneseo in overtime Saturday, Feb. 9 and now controls its own fate. If Potsdam wins either of its remaining two home games, the Eagles cannot make the postseason.

“We told them going into Saturday we couldn’t control anything in any arena but the one we are in,” Dickinson said. “There’s a reason why we play the games and upsets happen.”