Friday, January 7, 2022

Celebrating two of the best


With the second half of the season here, it’s time to give a shoutout to two guys having absolutely magical seasons – Ryan Romeo and Nolan Egbert. Keep an eye on these guys this semester, appreciate every play they make. They are literally among the best in all of DIII.

It was thought that defenseman Ryan Romeo deserved serious consideration for All-American status in the season prior to the pandemic. The First Team All-SUNYAC selection had 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points. This year, he’s a shoe-in for national honors: He has a 7-14-21 line in just 13 games. He’s on pace for a 40-point season. Let that sink in. 40 points is a great season for a forward. For a blueliner, it’s an all-world season. That dynamic playmaking ability in no way dulls his primary duties of keeping the other teams’ best players in check. His plus/minus is +15, he’s blocked 8 shots, and he has just 8 penalty minutes.

I’ve been watching DIII hockey for a really, really long time, and I’ve always thought the best defenseman I ever saw was Nick Rolls, who played for Plattsburgh from 2005-2006 to 2008-2009. He was brilliant, the flow of the game itself went through him. Romeo is that kind of special talent. He’s an impactful player who is worth the price of admission and will belong on Brockport’s Mount Rushmore of hockey.

Why is Brockport consistently ranked among the top twenty teams in DIII this season? Look no further than Nolan Egbert. His brilliance in goal allows the team to do what they want, to take chances, to adjust their style of play of the competition, to make changes on the fly because he gives them the confidence to be able to dominate and win every game. With him behind you, there’s always a chance.

Somehow, he’s quietly having a season for the ages. His save percentage is .940 and his goals-against-average is 1.72. The team’s single-season records for those categories has been held by Jake Moore, at .925 and 1.93. He’s a great goalie to watch, too – he has textbook mechanics and cunning yet he can also make the stunning stop that’s worthy of television highlight reels.

Egbert can steal a game and he’s the key to getting the team to – and beyond – the SUNYAC championship game. He’s up for the task, too, the young man has preternatural calm behind the mask.

New fans, longtime fans, all of you…savor this semester and what these guys are doing. You’ll never forget what you’re seeing.