Saturday, November 11, 2017

Brockport beats #14 Plattsburgh

The College at Brockport ice hockey team remained unbeaten in 2017 with a dominant 5-2 victory over No. 14 Plattsburgh State on Friday evening. The team, which was receiving 10 votes in the latest USCHO Top-15 poll, moves to 4-0-1 on the season, including a 2-0-1 mark in conference play.

The opening period of this game was a defensive battle, as neither team was able to find the back of the net. Matt Schneider stopped all eight shots he faced in the frame, including a pair of saves on a late power play opportunity for the Cardinals. The Golden Eagles had four power play chances of their own, but were unable to score despite seven shots on net.

Play opened up in the second period when Plattsburgh's Charles Barber scored just 0:50 seconds into the stanza, giving them a 1-0 lead. Brockport was quick to respond however, as just two minutes later, Zac Sikich ripped his team-leading fifth goal of the season over the goaltenders shoulder, using assists from Doc Gentzler and Connor Bass to even things up at 1-1.

Play settled down for a while after the Sikich goal, before David Horan gave the Green and Gold their first lead of the game at the 18:41 mark of the second. The senior took a long outlet pass from Hunter Laslo and burned the Cardinal defenders before sending the puck through the five-hole and into the back of the net.

They nearly added another with just seconds left in the period when Dylan Shapiro had a chance in the slot, but a great save by the Plattsburgh goaltender held the score at 2-1 Brockport going into the second intermission.

The Cardinals were not going away easily, as Rich McCartney tied the score at 2-2 just 1:36 into the third period. The Golden Eagles had the answer yet again however, as just over a minute later, Horan sent a shot toward the net that was tipped in by Laslo, allowing Brockport to regain the 3-2 lead.

Sikich extended that lead at the 6:41 mark of the third, picking up the rebound from an Aidan Verbeke shot for his second goal of the game and sixth of the season. Verbeke and Hutchins, who rank first and second on the team in points this season, each were credited with assists on the tally.

Verbeke would pick up another point with less than two minutes left in regulation, using an assist from Casey Winn to send the puck into the empty net and give the Green and Gold their fifth and final goal of the night.

Schneider has been a brick wall in net this season for Brockport, moving to 3-0 with the win. The sophomore saved 31 of the 33 shots he faced on the night, raising his season-long save percentage to .957.