By Brayden Peters/Staff Writer
After going on a streak of wins, Brockport’s hockey team fell short to Fredonia in overtime 4-3 on Brockport’s Alumni Night. The Brockport alumni who were inducted into the Wall of Honor for 2023 recently were present at the game. To honor Brockport hockey’s 50th Anniversary, the team wore retro uniforms that were based on those worn back in the ‘70s. Although Brockport does get a point in the standings for sending the game to overtime, they are still towards the bottom.
Brockport was off to a slow start in the first period as Fredonia’s offense put them on their heels for most of the period. However, the Golden Eagles had some life after forward Chase Maxwell scored on the powerplay. Following that goal Brockport began to find a rhythm offensively. Even so, the Blue Devils’ defense prevented them from getting many high-quality scoring chances.
The Golden Eagles looked like they were going to go into the second period up 1-0. However, Blue Devils defenseman Kieran Furlonger scored a wrist shot goal from the point with 4.8 seconds left to go in the first. Maxwell knew that in the upcoming second period, they needed to play more consistently.
“We had a tough second period yesterday,” Maxwell said. “We got to make sure we don’t have a bad period…get pucks deep and we should be fine.”
However, the second period looked like Maxwell didn’t want it to go for the first half of it. Forwards Antoine St. Onge and Peter Buerfent each scored to give Fredonia a 3-1 lead, with St. Onge’s goal being on the power play. The game was looking like Fredonia would run away with it, but Brockport wouldn’t roll over.
The Golden Eagles responded with two goals of their own, with forward Michael Meredith and defenseman Cam Barbagallo scoring to tie the game 3-3. Meredith’s goal carried a little extra significance being he is from Fredonia and his father, Jeff Meredith, is the head coach for the Blue Devils’ hockey team. Whatever was working on offense in the back half of the second period, Meredith knew they needed to keep doing it in the third.
“We just need to get back to our game,” Meredith said. “We have to keep forechecking hard, but then it’s going to be the hard team that wins. That’s all it takes. Just keep grinding away down low.”
The third period didn’t bring as much excitement or fireworks as before. Both teams created many scoring opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize. This was thanks to good defensive play and outstanding performances from goalies Dylan Weimer for Brockport and Charles-Anthony Barbeau for Fredonia.
Due to no one lighting the lamp in the third period, the game was sent to overtime. Fredonia almost put the game away early in overtime, but Weimer came up with a huge pad save. Brockport tried to move the puck to create an open shooting lane, but defenseman Jacob Rodrigue turned over the puck to Fredonia defenseman Xavier Fortin. He took the puck down the ice all alone and scored the game-winning goal on Weimer, giving the Blue Devils a 4-3 win over the Golden Eagles.
It was a tough loss for Brockport as they were riding a wave of momentum from the previous three games that resulted in two wins and one tie, which ended in a shootout win for the Golden Eagles against Skidmore. With the loss, Brockport falls to 4-7 overall and 2-5 in SUNYAC play. As for Fredonia, the win puts them at 3-7 on the season and 3-4 in SUNYAC play. Brockport head coach Brian Dickinson has noticed how inconsistent play in the second period has hurt the team, even though injuries have played a role in this.
“When you don’t come out in the middle period, that’s the difference,” Dickinson said. “We just got to get a little bit more consistent. Part of that is the two guys up front that were out, with Schuyler (Flansberg) and Nick (Serafin). It kind of juggled our lineup in practice and these guys didn’t have a lot of time to practice with each other.”
Brockport has a quick turnaround before its next game against Morrisville State (3-9, 1-5) on Wednesday. With the short time that the Golden Eagles have to prepare, Dickinson believes it will come down to how much his team knows the importance of that game.
“It’s all about the preparation for us to make sure that we know going in that it’s two much-needed points for us,” Dickinson said. “Two points with Morrisville gives us the same two that Buff State got and we separate from them a little bit.”
The opening puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Wegmans Ice Arena on Wednesday.